Casting a Seed…

WeedSea

“Once in a golden hour,
I cast to earth a seed,
And up there grew a flower,
That others called a weed.”
― Alfred Tennyson

There is a belief that.

You reap what you sow.

But.

Sometimes.

There are those who reap the benefits of what others sow…

They collect the ripe fruits, pick the brightly blooming flowers, roam freely in the lush gardens which they did not seed, tend or nurture.

Sometimes they take the credit for what is not their creation.

Once they’ve plundered someone else’s garden of its treasures, they abandon it.

Often angry that what was once a paradise now more closely resembles hell.

But.

They do not see that the paradise turned to hell due to their actions and the consequences of their actions.

They then go off in search of another garden, which belongs to someone else, to plunder, to reap what someone else has sown, all for themselves.

The concept of sharing is not one they know.

Unless it applies to others sharing with them. And even then, their idea of sharing is to possess the largest portion.

Those are the seeds they sow.

But.

They never seem to reap what they sow, they reap what others sow.

And leave others to deal with the weed-infested barren gardens which they created.

There is one person who has been plundering my gardens since I was a child.

While they plundered.

They ripped up plants, claiming they were weeds, before those plants could grow into the flowers and fruit-bearing trees which they actually were.

They trampled on seed beds, uprooted vegetables in mid-growth, rerouted water, cut down trees, and pretended that what they were doing was beneficial.

Their gardening was better than mine, their thumbs were greener.

What they failed to see was that their thumbs were green due to gangrene which infected everything it touched.

I grew accustomed to this, made excuses for them, just as others made excuses for them.

They have never had to reap what they have sown because they get to reap what others sow.

And that includes the consequences of others excusing their behaviour for them.

I did not abandon my garden after it was plundered and left for dead.

I started again from scratch, new foundations, enriching the soil, replacing nutrients, reseeding, replanting, feeding roots and breathing life back into it.

I placed fences around it.

And each subsequent time it was plundered, I created new ways to defend it, improving my system, trying to make it impenetrably to those who were not invited in, to those who did not respect boundaries, nature and the existence of others.

I even tried to disguise my garden.

Make it seem overgrown, abandoned, deserted, unwelcoming to greedy souls.

But.

Nothing seems to keep this garden invader out.

Whatever I do my garden always appeals to greed, to need, which devours.

Just once.

I wish.

A seed cast to earth.

Which may look like a weed once it blooms, but to me it is a flower.

I wish.

Just once.

I would like to keep them out of my garden.

A garden where the grass has finally recovered from their previous visits and is now green. Where I can plant seeds and watch them grow. Where flowers are able to reach full bloom. Vegetables and fruit can become ripe. Trees can reach for the sky. Roots can feel safe to delve deep and far. And water flows freely.

Just once.

I would like to reap what I have sown, and share it with those who have helped the seeds I have planted to grow.

Just once.

I would like to force them to stay on their side of the fence, where the grass is burned yellow, the earth is dust and nothing grows.

Just once.

I would like them to reap what they sow.

SkeleStone

But.

Perhaps.

These invaders are a part of the ecosystem of our gardens.

And in their own way, they help our gardens to grow.

Still.

I wish.

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30 thoughts on “Casting a Seed…

  1. Very moving post, beautifully written too 🙂 and oh so relatable! Maybe they do ‘reap what they saw’ (inverted commas because of what follows), for is there something sadder than not having a garden?. I don’t use fences, I use a scarecrow 😀

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    1. I really have to watch my spelling or one day I’ll end up either confusing people or making some very alternative streams of thoughts probably leading nowhere or both. I meant of course ‘sow’, -all these phonetical similitudes!

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      1. Made me smile 🙂 I have dyslexia, so spelling is… an intriguing place to learn different ways of seeing something and not just when I write but also when I read. A mistake is not always what it seems. Sometimes it is not a mistake at all and points to wisdom in a creative manner.

        ‘reap what they saw’ is actually in some ways more correct in this instance. Especially considering what inspired this post, what I was thinking when I wrote it.

        I would say that you have a gift of seeing beyond that which appears, into that which is hidden. Your ability to flow along alternative streams is worth more than worrying about the confusion of others. If it confuses people, perhaps they need to be confused so they can see something which opens up a new perspective. And they could just say – I’m confused – then you can explain.

        In this case, anyone who reads it and is confused… is the sort who endeavours to misunderstand no matter how concise. It was clear to me, but I enjoyed the alternative view 😉 Food for thought!

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    2. Thank you 🙂

      There’s a field next to my house which is segmented because the farm which owns it uses part of it to test out alternative farming techniques – especially ecologically friendly ones, many of which hark back to ye olde times of farming when people were more in tune with nature. In one of the segments they tested out different ways to scare off regular predators – pigeons and crows in particular. The crows like to sit on the arms of the scarecrows 😉 Pigeons are a bit easier to scare, but they forget things, the things which scare them, or so it seems.

      There’s also a yearly scarecrow festival in a village in this county… some of the scarecrows are very scary and would be stars of a horror film – still certain predators just don’t scare off easily because the more we try to protect something, the more we let them know there is a treasure worth having.

      What scares a garden invader off… depends on the garden invader. We need to remain vigilantly flexible… yet not in a way which ruins our enjoyment of our garden.

      Sometimes the sadness of not having a garden is the very thing which urges certain garden invaders on in their quest to invade the gardens of others. Such is life and its challenges.

      We live and learn… so do they in a different way. That’s sounds rather ominous, but it’s not. We have an advantage, and that is… we own our own gardens!

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      1. I’m glad my distraction can make way to alternative paths 🙂 I was going to say as long as they don’t lead to a labyrinth! (‘cause I suck at them), but then I thought that that would apply unless one is good at finding the exit, and who knows, that could be the exact one they were looking for, in which case it wouldn’t be a mistake as you say 🙂

        Thank you for your compliment, I’m not really sure what the gift consists of since I don’t see anything to look beyond from, I see as far as my eyes can reach, that’s all, -until they reach the horizon, so to speak.

        What scares a garden invader off definitely depends as you say of the garden invader. I don’t think fences scare them, for as you also say, the more protection (the higher the fence), the more interested they become. They just know they can bring them down. That has been my experience I any case, but with a scarecrow they get to see the garden from the outside, so they know exactly what is there. To be honest, I don’t know what my scarecrow looks like, but on the garden invaders’ end I think it might as well have taken the form of a crucifix with a string of garlic, for they stand on the edge of the yard wanting to come in and not getting themselves to somehow. And if it’s a visitor and not an invader, it might turn into a lamp, so it’s not always a scarecrow.

        Not having a garden must be the main reason to try to invade others! There are indeed ‘gardenless’ people, or rather, people who do have one, abandoned for many years and don’t dare look at it, much less live in it and share it!

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        1. The brain is a labyrinth, so perhaps being led into a labyrinth helps us to discover more about ourselves 🙂

          Did you hear about that recent brain surgery which led scientists to discover a potential ‘Off’ switch to the brain? Isn’t human life a funny old thing!

          The gifts which we have naturally, we often don’t see them, understand them or realise what they’re all about. We just have them and tend to take them for granted, often thinking everyone else can do this too so it’s nothing special. Maybe that’s the way it should be. Maybe all we need to do is just be ourselves and let things flow. You have wonderful vision, perhaps it is better that you don’t know it and that it just sees and shares what it sees. Then again, perhaps you need to see how much you see. Paradoxes in life are perfectly natural, normal and challenging!

          Your garden seems beautiful, I’m glad you’ve found a way to keep the invaders at bay. A skill which is invaluable! Your scarecrow sounds super cool with its shape-shifting abilities like an optical illusion which requires the seer to interpret what is seen. That is most excellent!

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          1. Haha, thank you 🙂 I have a feeling that it’s nothing more than a mirror. For I have no say in what form it takes, it depends on the person who steps in front, the visitor of the garden. I think the only thing narcissists and other ‘gardenless’ people are truly scared of is their own selves, their own barren gardens. That’s probably what they see and why they keep themselves (!) out, with no effort on my part. The cleaner the mirror, the more accurate the reflection. The challenge is to keep the mirror clean, and that’s something we do have a say in, something we can actually do. The ego settles as some kind of filter, mostly composed by fear I’d say, but also all our unresolved issues, and which distorts the image, both the one we have of them and the one they get of themselves. And then the drama. Cleaning the mirror is for me another way to understand healing. The more you deal with your own issues, the clearer and more accurate the image, both for you (of them) and for them (of themselves). So it works as a double protection without it being a protective device per se, you don’t feel the need/urge to offer them your jugular and they don’t get too close to the mirror, -and you are just being yourself, growing your garden, lusher than ever 😀 I’m not sure whether I’m making any sense with this, or all the sense I’d like to make, I sometimes get confused myself when trying to explain perceptions. Maybe that’s what you meant by vision. It’s the only one I know, I have nothing to compare it with so I cannot ‘measure’ it. And yes, I tend to think everybody else has the same, why shouldn’t they? However, I can feel that it goes deeper (as if the horizon moves farther away) the more I experience and observe myself. Also others, but I find that while outer-exploration guides, points the direction, the inner is what makes things clearer, what dissipates the confusion.

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            1. A mirror, you say… now that is very clever!

              Actually I would say that this not only makes perfect sense, it is crystal clear. That mirror is very clean 😉

              You’re absolutely right that the mirror works both ways. I think part of the reason we attract and get involved with narcissists has to do with our own projections and need for certain reflections. Much of what we experience with a narcissist forces us to face ourselves, and through doing that we free ourselves from patterns and issues which cause us to repeat them. Sometimes the way to find the best protection is to seek no protection at all, because in baring ourselves as we are we find a strength which protects itself by being open. Our perceived weaknesses and vulnerabilities, our fragility, becomes our greatest strength. Sometimes it is our perceived strengths and our desire to keep working on those which makes us weak because we unbalance ourselves.

              Some years ago I had a very bad back problem which nothing seemed to solve until I came across information which suggested strengthening the muscles of the abdomen and stomach to balance out the strength of the back muscles. It claimed that part of the back pain was due to the overdevelopment of the back muscles and the underdevelopment of the ‘front’ muscles. I doubted it, but gave it a go, and although it wasn’t the complete solution, it made a big difference. My back problem was also connected to diet and food allergies which I did not know I had – which was also intriguing from a psychological standpoint, I was ingesting things my body did not want. Kind of like putting up with things we don’t want to put up with.

              I have since applied that concept to more abstract scenarios, including NPD. I saw that when it came to narcissists they have a big ego, but I didn’t, which left all this space for them to fill, however if I develop the muscles of my ego, it gives them less room to move and it also pushes them away. I have stopped being ‘sensitive’ towards those I suspect of being narcissistic and have developed my ‘insensitivity’ muscles to balance myself out. And I don’t put up with as much as I used to, don’t ingest as much BS. It’s still experimental, but the results so far are most interesting 😉

              Your vision, as I see it (and it is just my perspective on it), is the ability to make connections with seemingly separate things. Your mind works like string theory (or at least how I understand string theory). There are quite a few people who have this ability, and they often are overwhelmed by what they see because when they let the vision flow it can seem to zip all the way out into the universe and into universes beyond that. Translating the data which your mind collects can make you feel as though what you’re saying doesn’t make sense because you’re in some ways pouring and ocean into a glass.

              Don’t worry about it making sense to others, the only one who needs to understand you… is you. Self-understanding eventually learns to evolve into the ability to share it with others in a way which is universal, but sometimes it has to go through a process of being misunderstood. Trust the process, trust yourself 🙂

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              1. I think during the recovery (or more accurately I think rediscovery) period, I have developed a kind of ’sensitive detachment’, which might sound a little selfish and maybe also a contradiction in terms, but it’s not, I am still sensitive to them, to all in fact, but as you say their BS does not affect me anymore, at least not as much as before (I can still see spots in the mirror ! ;-)). I see it, I recognize it, and all I feel is something similar to compassion (I hope it doesn’t sound condescending because that’s not the way I feel it, but can’t find a better word, something between love and acceptance, or both), but without the need to ‘correct’ it, I just accept it. So I know it’s not insensitivity, it’s detachment in a loving way. As strange as it might sound, sometimes even for myself! I never heard of the string theory but sometimes while I’m writing (or trying to explain ‘things’ to someone) I wonder where the heck that came from. I can relate to the overwhelming thing, for the ‘knowing’, is there, but not always easy to digest at once and certainly difficult to put into words. It is not knowledge, that is what I get when I explore outside, when for example I learn about narcissism, which has been incredibly useful. So I’m very grateful to all those who, like Kim and you, give such great insight, effort, commitment and love to help others understand themselves.

                I’m glad I can make myself understood, trying to translate the data as you say (funny that also in my spare time I should have to do that as well, for that’s what I do for a living :-D) can be a challenge, but harder than translating concepts and words between different ‘versions of reality’ constructed by language. Pouring an ocean into a glass describes pretty well how it feels sometimes, so you too share it, I’m sure we all have the ability to, we just resist it I think :-).

                Thank you 🙂 ❤

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                1. I think that what you say about developing ‘sensitivity detachment’ sounds healthy and wise. It comes across as being similar to the Buddhist concept of non-attachment, especially as you used the term ‘compassion’ which I think is correct for what you were describing. Compassion works with empathy, adding emotional understanding to the ability to perceive another person’s viewpoint. Compassion is detached yet connected, sensitive yet non-invasive, and isn’t condescending at all (unless a narcissist uses the term 😉 ).

                  I also think that it is good to be balanced in selfishness. The trait exists in all humans, therefore it must have a practical purpose. I believe that we need to have a healthy dose of selfishness and to enjoy the positive aspects of the trait, as well as being aware of the negative aspects of it, able to work with all of it in all its myriad forms.

                  What we experience with a narcissist is a completely unbalanced relationship, and it brings to our attention traits which are unbalanced in their expression.

                  A narcissist expresses natural and normal human traits which are blown out of proportion – ie: they have too much selfishness. They expect everyone to be as obsessed with them and their wants, needs, etc, as they are. A relationship with them has to be all about them, there is no room for anyone else. We are expected to empty ourselves of ourselves and fill ourselves up with them. They take over our lives and we let them.

                  Part of the reason we get caught up in a relationship with a narcissist is because we lack what they have in abundance – ie: we have too little selfishness. We have at some point in our lives come to perceive our needs and wants, etc, as being less important than those of others, we feel guilt or shame in association with wanting, needing, being selfish, and we ‘make amends’ by pushing our wants and needs aside to cater to the wants and needs of others. Healthy people don’t find this particularly attractive, whereas narcissists do, they find it irresistible because it’s exactly what they seek.

                  In a healthy relationship, both people have a good dose of selfishness, and they meet each other halfway.

                  This video shows the dynamic quite well and in a humorous manner (which is always a bonus) – How To Spot a Narcissist – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c6xU_CPE310

                  You might also find this article interesting – http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-personality-analyst/201404/how-high-is-your-personal-intelligence

                  I think that the synchronicity between what you do for a living and the way that you process thought is simply the way a natural ability expresses itself through us. It is you being yourself, letting yourself flow into all aspects of your life 🙂

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                  1. Yes, it is exactly that, non-attachment rather than detachment, which carries a connotation of ‘not caring’. And it is indeed related to the eastern philosophies, I think the concept is present in most religions, but Buddhism and zen have a more direct approach, so to speak, since specially the latter is more a discipline than a philosophy. I don’t know much about religion (as philosophy or intellectual knowledge, theory in short), and I have never practiced any, but I have read a little about zen and put meditation in practice about a year and a half ago. Nothing big, not imposing it to myself in to achieve anything, just as a play, because it felt right. At the beginning it wasn’t easy, or comfortable, for thoughts were all over the place and overtook everything, and since I felt I was in ‘a good place’ in my life I didn’t resort to that very often. Funnily enough, as the relationship developed and more red flags began to appear, I felt instinctively the need to meditate more. I was of course completely unaware of the reasons, after all I was in a fantastic relationship, no? or so my mind kept telling me… I just did what I felt like doing, I listened to myself, just a little. After the break-up, amidst all the confusion and pain, the need intensified, and that’s when it began to go faster, still not knowing what narcissism and empaths were, but more and more sure about what I was doing in my contact with my ex-N the weeks after: the non-attachment. I kept the love but somehow did not fall back, despite the (sometimes quite strong) desire to do so. I could see through the game and my ex clearer as time went, that’s where knowledge helped. I found your site and many sites that reinforced what my intuition was telling me and gave me the validation I guess, I needed to keep going in that direction, to keep trusting myself. It was just that, a reinforcement, a gift you could say. I guess it all comes down to listen and be loyal to yourself, and the brighter the real-self, the easier it is. I think, I’m not sure, that the only way to know your real-self (as opposed to the ego, which I imagine as a kind of hologram you create to separate yourself from others) is through meditation. And then again, meditation is not necessarily sitting in a specific posture, I think it’s the same thing as being in the now, whatever it is you are doing. Not as easily done as said, for it requires an conscious effort, but it gets easier the more you practice it. Eckhart Tolle explains it quite well 😀

                    All this implies selfishness, but understood as a focus on yourself (your real-self) as opposed to egotism, (I think it’s called), which is self-serving in the sense of serving the ego. That’s where the negative connotations of the word selfish lie I think.

                    I liked the idea of ‘a natural ability expressing itself through us’, it feels very right! 😀

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  2. This made my heart ache for you…though I see naught but a very beautiful garden when I think of Ursula. You are very talented, poetic, and share your healing with all who visit your site. You are casting your own seeds to others’ gardens every day. What a blessing you are.

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    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      You always say such lovely things to me, that is a reflection of the beautiful garden of Kim and your generosity in sharing the riches of your garden with others. May your garden bring you as much joy as it does to others. ❤

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  3. Life is so reflected in nature. Thank you for sharing this beautiful poem. I recently started a garden of my own…never having done so before this year. Indeed a wonderful metaphor for planting one’s own seeds, roots and reaping what one has sown…protecting the beauty that one has tended to and grown.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      Gardening is a great way to get in touch with our own nature. It’s surprising how much you can discover about yourself through creating a garden and watching it grow.

      The house where I live now is the first time I had proper garden, and when I moved in it was an overgrown wilderness. Through cutting things back I discovered old paths and walls, the old structure of the original garden. I also found some strange treasures. After I’d finished cutting it back and uncovering its old structure, I made the mistake of trying to impose my will on it… it set me straight in a beautiful way. Which made me realise that I was doing something similar to my own nature, and working with the garden and what it wanted to grow there helped me to do the same with myself.

      There are a lot of wild animals who use my garden, and although at times this causes a tiny conflict – they eat flowers and such – it is a small price to pay to enjoy watching them live naturally. They teach me to respect the wild within. It is all a part of the ecosystem.

      Thank you for sharing, best wishes for you and your garden 🙂

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      Readers are more than welcome to be as lazy as they want to be. This is a personal blog, where I write for myself and do as I please. The lengths of my posts are the lengths that they are for me. I don’t mind if no one else reads them.

      I always appreciate those who take the time to read, and those who share their thoughts with me.

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  4. Dear Ursula,
    this is a wonderful and stunning piece of poetical prose, there is even a hint of music through the repetition, as though it was falling with the cadence of seasonal weather.Your methaphor illustrâtes well what happens with N parents and your reward of feeling free to start back again your life on your own foundations.There is a sad veil though at the end suggesting you have been invaded again, or they have tried to.
    But “I wish” represents your will and your desire which is stronger than anything else and I am sure you will succeed.
    i still hope though that the ending was not related to real events and you are truly out of reach for your mother and your legal matters are not turning even more bitter that they already were a while ago.
    Thank you so much for this heart felt expression of beauty and of your talent. I loved it so much-along with the picture.there is something very fragile in the images which reminds me of the delicate inner structure and vulnerability of a(also “gifted”) child. Take care xxx

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      You have a penetrative gift of insight. You always seem to find the subtext, the undercurrent, in my writing. This was indeed inspired by real events in my life right now and has to do my mother and legal matters. She pulled a fast one, and she seems to be getting away with it. I did try a preemptive strike, unfortunately I came up against that obstacle which is well known to children of narcissists – no one believes you about how devious your parents are until it is too late and they’ve done what you warned others that they were going to do. It doesn’t help matters that others in this scenario have been rather narcissistic too in their attitude.

      I’m waiting to hear some news about all of this. During this time I’m reviewing the past and its part in the present, trying to grasp the timeline and the bigger picture, as well as considering my options connected to possible scenarios.

      The past couple of years have changed the landscape of my garden. We’ll see what grows and what doesn’t. There are some strange new plants growing 😉

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  5. Very touching and I can relate so well. I have the secret to a lush healthy garden. I have one this year, figuratively and literally and the answer to having a healthy garden is to have no contact with the person who always tramples it. Those dark evil souls kill everything just with their presence, they block out the sun light and poison the soil without even entering the garden,m just by being in the close vicinity. Because, not only do they reap what others have sown they don’t want anyone else to have a beautiful garden. To them, once they have ruined your garden and moved on you are not allowed to rebuild your garden because to them it signifies they didn’t get all you had to offer. They can’t allow someone to have better or more or prettier than they have especially if they have already destroyed you, to them for you to recover is saying they failed. They failed to destroy you and failure is not an option to them. They must come back and finish the job.

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    1. Thank you 🙂

      I was thinking about a narcissist when I was writing this. No contact is one of the fences I’ve used to protect my garden, but a narcissist does not recognise or accept such a thing. Over the years since I implemented NC I’ve seen the different ways they’ve tried to remove it. Recently I’ve had access to their view and version of my NC – which includes them claiming that I must have died and have been replaced by an imposter. That would be funny if it weren’t for other people buying into their stories.

      The narcissist’s strong belief in their fabrications, their extreme denial, the compelling quality of their created drama makes what they say, their lies, so real to others that they get sucked into it. So not only do you have to protect your garden from the narcissist but also from those who are under their influence, who believe the narcissist and help them get to you. Sometimes the goodwill of others becomes a force of ill will against you.

      And sometimes it is a case of other people not being able to see that people like narcissists exist in the real world and not just in fiction, and that they can appear ordinary and harmless, that not everyone who cries for help is a damsel in distress who needs saving. Sometimes the damsel in distress is a dragon in disguise, and the knight in shining armor gets eaten once he’s helped the damsel-dragon destroy the village. But of course the damsel-dragon doesn’t see themselves that way, they see themselves as being the true hero of the story.

      I think dealing with those who are under the influence of a narcissist, making excuses for them and helping them in their quest, are far harder to deal with than the narcissist alone. First because they’re usually good people whose goodness is being manipulated, so you can’t really treat them as you would treat the narcissist – and if you do, you confirm that you’re the bad guy the narcissist told them you were. Secondly because you can’t break the spell they are under – if you do manage to break it, they have to face the fact that they’ve been duped by the narcissist and that their goodness has been used for bad. No one likes to admit that kind of thing to themselves, especially good people, so denial, self-preservation, kicks in to protect them from the truth, which is often far harder to break than before.

      Part of my ‘wish’ is that those who help a narcissist and make excuses for them, see through the narcissist, stop helping them and making excuses for them. Make them accountable for their behaviour, make them actually have to reap what they have sown and deal with the consequences of their behaviour. That way the narcissist is isolated and has no ‘tools’ to get into other people’s gardens to reap what others have sown. Narcissists don’t like to get their hands dirty, it ruins their perfect image, they prefer to use others to do their dirty work. When they are isolated and have to do things for themselves, they don’t have the same kind of reach.

      It’s a bit of a pipe dream because narcissists always know how to find allies, and twist things to go their way, because they’ve spent their entire life sowing seeds of manipulation, illusion and delusion. They know how to make their garden look like Eden, it’s a mirage but it can be a very believable one.

      Still… I wish 🙂

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    1. Thank you very much 🙂

      That’s a wonderful way of looking at words, and blogging. Our blogs are gardens, aren’t they. They’re a bit like a terrarium within the garden of our lives. It’s intriguing to see how they grow, and how they have grown from the moment we planted the first seed. Hmmmm. Now you’ve planted an intriguing seed in my idea-loving mind ❤

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