A woman plants radishes and carrots in a garden.

Life in Full Bloom: How Gardening Created a Healthier Me

Have you ever wondered if you planted a seed how well it would grow? I have often looked at gardens in awe and wished I could create something so bountiful. It became a desire to sow a seed that yielded a good harvest. My desire turned into action, but I hoped creating it wouldn’t become a burden on my health.

Starting a garden

During the pandemic I found myself looking to beautify my home. I started on the inside and moved to what we call our "backyard oasis." Although I had a beautiful setting, I wanted to have more greenery. I later decided to plant some food to see what happens. This was the start of a garden of health in more ways than one.

Gardening to improve my health

When I started planting seeds, I was excited and hopeful. I knew if I planted the best seeds in healthy dirt, I could possibly reap a good harvest. After reading up, I learned that you would have to water and nurture the seeds in order for them to grow. This seemed like a lot but I was up to the task. After all, I wasn’t really doing much of anything and I knew this would be good for me.

Benefits of gardening

Gardening taught me a few things that I never realized it could. I started off big by planting directly into the ground so I had to wait a bit to see progress. That little bit of patience mixed with excitement was amazing. I had to learn that in order for anything to bloom I must have patience to see it to fruition. Much like fighting lupus issues, I had to wait until it was all ready to show me my harvest.

As I watered, talked, and nurtured the seeds, I finally saw my first bloom. The process of getting to that first bloom relieved a lot of my stress. It became a calming mentally refreshing activity that yielded beautiful results. Every day I went to tend to the garden it was a special time for me to get my mind in a healthy space.

Physically, the movement to tend a garden helped me with my joints. When I was feeling pain, I was able to tinker in the garden and get relief. I believe it was the process of caring for something that needed it just as much as I did. The movement itself was good to keep me active and increase my flexibility. All of the digging, bending, planting, and weeding were good for my heart and created those feel-good endorphins in my body.

There is a saying that states, "you reap what you sow." This, for me, holds true in life and in gardening. I know as I planted seeds, as I nourished them properly, they grew. Yes, some were not as large or as healthy in the dirt they were planted, but they still grew through the dirt when I tended to them more closely. In this lupus life that I have been given, I believe the same is true in coming to full bloom in my life. Beyond the trials and issues lupus can bring, I will always bloom. I may take longer than usual sometimes, but I overcome the dirt and push through. The garden has taught me to sow what’s good for my health and what you reap will be most beneficial in healing from lupus day-to-day.

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