There's something about getting your hands dirty--not a little smudged, but serious caked-on layers of mud and soil--that is incredibly calming. When I garden, I like to do it without gloves on so that I can feel the warmth of the soil and really grab hold of the root ends of pesky weeds. I like my hands to come in contact with the earth.
|The sunny side garden now.|
What does this have to do with infertility? Quite a bit, actually.
|4 tomato types, 5 pepper varieties, herbs, salad, cucumbers|
Gardening is terrific therapy for infertility for a multitude of reasons:
|A new, fun rudbeckia.|
- Being out in nature tending to plants and coaxing life out of green things is a fairly fertile thing to do. I like to think that surrounding myself with fertility will help bestow me with some.
- Weeding, transplanting, pruning, trimming, edging--all these things are a way of attempting to control nature. It gives me a sense of being able to tame natural chaos, even when I can't seem to make heads or tails of my own biology.
- Nature always returns to that chaotic state--there is always weeding to do. Weeding is actually the most relaxing thing to me about gardening. You go out and your garden is a mess, filled with unwelcome weedies that want to squelch your beautiful specimens. A few hours later of methodical, repetitive pulling and you have a clean slate once again--visible evidence of your hard work. I go into a trancelike state when weeding and have no time for thoughts of any kind. It's lovely.
- Gardening gives you something else to focus on besides your follicles, or your estrogen counts, or how many cycles you have left should this one fail. You can focus on the deadheading, or what to put in the holes that always appear in the garden (squirrels move stuff, plants run their course and die or reseed themselves in alternate locations).
- Gardens are flexible and somewhat unpredictable--you can move stuff around, and thanks to the wildlife stuff can get moved around for you. You can leave spaces to fill in with interesting annuals and change things up year to year. You can try to structure the garden, but I prefer to follow the cottage garden look--go with nature. It can be freeing to see where a garden will go and work with the chaos of nature. It can inspire you to attempt to apply that same philosophy to your cycle--let go and stop trying to control/predict things with such a tight fist. Treat your reproductive system like a cottage garden.
- Gardening is a creative outlet and a relatively low-risk way to try new things. I am trying to be more flexible in my gardens. I used to ban all red and yellow from my color schemes. I haven't embraced red, but I am inviting yellow daylilies and butterfly daisies into my front bed. I have orange echinacea that may be my favorite now. I am not a fan of cleome (spider flower), but bought an annual version that is more compactly flowered and purple. I am stepping outside my comfort zone. I even have actual impatiens, not just New Guinea ones (the only ones I like) in a hanging basket in a dark corner of the backyard. I hate impatiens. But they sure are pretty in that corner. Gardening helps me to be less rigid. Which helps me be less stressed in cycles where going with the flow and trying unknown things could be just the ticket to my success. I can warm up to overcoming fear of the unknown by embracing pink impatiens and yellow flowers in my previously purple-blue-pink-and-white-only beds. Baby steps, little green baby steps.
- Gardening is tending to life. I thought it was really ironic that for my 35th birthday what I wanted most was the means to propagate fruits and vegetables (basically plant ovaries) and more flowers. My beds are an impressive array of functioning sex organs. We may not be able to get our gonads to function properly, but man, are my chorophylly progeny successful. It's an irony that didn't escape me, but I like the fact that when I'm out there, I'm getting things to grow and develop and cooperate. Maybe our reproductive systems will follow suit.
- From a strictly practical standpoint, I will be my own farm stand later this season. I will have fresh, uber-local, organically-grown produce at my disposal. I have will have tomatoes until the apocalypse, apparently. I've already eaten some of my mesclun mix and it was yummy. I can't wait to taste all my hard work and know exactly where that healthful nutrition came from.
|A daylily from my backyard.|