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Life Lessons Learned Through Gardening

‘How green was my valley…’ View from my balcony garden (Pune). Photo credit: Tanya Munshi

Gardening has provided me with invaluable life lessons that extend far beyond the confines of a typical garden. Growing up surrounded by lush gardens and vegetable patches, I learned the true essence of nature’s beauty and its transformative effects. As I navigated from expansive greenery to city life, my connection with plants remained dormant until the pandemic rekindled my passion. The act of nurturing plants became a profound source of stress relief, allowing me to cultivate resilience, optimism, and wisdom amidst the challenges. Let’s explore some of the essential life lessons I’ve gained through my humble yet resilient plants.

Warrior Rain Lillies… humble, silent yet resilient. Photo credit: Tanya Munshi

Embracing Resilience

The Warrior Rain Lilly One of the most profound lessons came from the rain lilies. Despite being trampled by pesky pigeons and enduring a broken stem, a single lily displayed remarkable perseverance. Every morning, it would unfurl its white petals, bask in the sunlight, and gracefully close at sunset. This simple act symbolized the power of inner strength and the importance of rising anew, no matter how broken we may feel inside. The rain lily became a resilient warrior, a pure embodiment of the idea that we should dress up, show up, and face each day’s challenges with unwavering determination.

My balcony – my cosy spot during the monsoons. Photo credit: Tanya Munshi

Staying Rooted

The Feisty Fighter Periwinkle Starting anew in a new city, I ventured into gardening with only a handful of potted plants. When I encountered a vibrant bunch of periwinkles, I learned a lesson in staying rooted. One sapling, larger and more robust than the rest, struggled initially due to its limited roots. However, with time, it found its strength and thrived despite facing adversities like harsh sunlight and weather. This resilient plant demonstrated that a strong foundation allows us to weather life’s storms. It also highlighted the notion that greatness can emerge from unexpected places, just like this tomboyish yet beautiful periwinkle.

Paying it Forward

The Big-Hearted Allamanda The vibrant yellow blooms of the Allamanda creeper captured my heart. This robust plant thrived in the sun, attracting tiny hummingbirds that sipped nectar from its flowers. Witnessing this interaction emphasized the importance of giving back to the world. While striving for personal growth and success, we should remember to be kind and considerate to those around us, especially those who may be smaller or less fortunate. The Allamanda’s ability to brighten both my space and the world around it taught me the significance of making a positive impact, no matter how small.

Lessons Beyond the Garden:

Gardening imparts lessons that extend far beyond the world of plants:

  1. Balance: Like plants, relationships and life require a delicate balance. Overdoing or over-pampering can stifle growth and potential, emphasizing the importance of moderation and equilibrium.
  2. Letting Go: Just as plants shed dried leaves and flowers, we too must learn to let go of what no longer serves us. Creating space for new opportunities is essential for growth and renewal.
  3. Investing: Plants teach us the beauty of simplicity and humility. They take only what they need and give back abundantly, reminding us to remain humble and generous.
  4. Emotional Detachment: Growing and nurturing vegetables taught me the necessity of compartmentalizing emotions. This detachment ensures practicality and survival, a valuable lesson in adapting to change.
  5. Harmony with Nature: Nature’s rhythms teach us to align our body clocks with sunrise and sunset, fostering better health and well-being. Embracing natural cycles helps us break free from the confines of modern life.

Gardening may not be everyone’s passion, but the life lessons it imparts are universal. As we witness the resilience, rootedness, and generosity of plants, we find inspiration to apply these principles to our lives. The garden becomes a classroom for personal growth, teaching us to rise above challenges, stay grounded, and make a positive impact on the world around us.

Tanya Munshi

Founder, The Lifestyle Portal

Artist, Writer, Human…

The Lifestyle Portal

Tanya is a graduate in Sociology from Sophia College, Mumbai, a post-graduate in Communications and Media from SNDT Women’s University in Mumbai and holds a Master's Degree in Journalis & Mass Communications from Chandigarh University. A former writing mentor and a seasoned lifestyle writer, Tanya writes columns on The Lifestyle Portal of life and living.

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