Worries to Colors
There is this older woman who lives in town. She is such a quiet woman it still surprises me that everyone seems to know who she is to some degree. No one knows much about her but enough is known that if you are trying to work your way through a problem period in your life, everyone says go to see Peaches (few even know her given name).
She lives in a small house kind of off to it’s self and planted all around it are flowers of one sort or another. Colors are everywhere. There are some people who think they make for a messy, kind of unkempt look. Those are the people who haven’t gotten the chance to know her.
I had been going thru a very difficult period of time; my marriage of 23 years is over. I have finally surrendered to the fact that it is a lost cause. My daughter is married, has a child and they have moved about 6 hours away.
My dilemma is that before I married at the age of 17 I did what my parents wanted me to do. After I married I did what my husband said to do. And of course once you are married and have a child any decision you make now involves thoughts of the husband and the child.
I am at a complete loss with what I am supposed to do now. No husband, no child, I am only responsible for me and “me” as I see it is a mess. I really don’t know what I am supposed to do.
One day one of my friends told me to buy a plant or some flower seeds and go knock on Peaches door, introduce myself and she would take it from there.
No one really knows if Peaches holds any degrees or credentials. When she speaks you don’t question any of this. Maybe it’s because when she greets you at her door the first thing you feel is calmness coming from her welcoming voice. As you walk into her house it’s sort of like the feeling you get when you walk into a warm house after having been out in the cold for too long.
Peaches greeted me at the door and welcomed me in a warm and casual manner; she didn’t seem the least bit surprised to see me standing there. I handed her the plant I had bought with the red blossoms. She took it from me saying “Oh thank you so much, I guess you could see that I love flowers and colors.”
Walking thru the door as I begin to look around, just about everywhere my eyes land there is beautiful, bright, vibrant color. There was nothing fancy, just color every where you look.
Before I knew it she had me sitting comfortably on the sofa. I had put my purse on the floor and picked up one of the numerous square pillows with a bright floral pattern that lines her sofa. I didn’t even realize that as we were talking I continued to hold the pillow in my lap.
She asked me what was laying heavy on my mind and assured me that whatever it was would soon feel lighter by the pure sake of sharing the load.
We discussed how my life had been; the way she referred to it was as though I had had adventures over the years. She never acknowledged them as problems, only adventures.
She pointed out that there had been many “phases of my life” and there would continue to be more. The only thing she assured me was that we pass through these phases. She chuckled and said, “I can promise you this is just another phase, and you aren’t really going crazy. You will go through other phases; I can’t promise you the next ones all will be better, just different”.
She explained that each of these phases is part of our growing process. She said we have a tendency to only think of children going thru the phases of a growing process but it continues throughout our entire life. What is important is what we learn in each one and that we are ready to share that learning with others in a loving positive way.
She said our biggest lessons are usually the most difficult one. She pointed out that even though this phase is a tough one, look at all I had been able to learn about myself. Without the divorce and separation from my daughter I wouldn’t have been about to learn so much about me and that’s what this phase is for, to learn about me and what I want to do with my life. She explained that once you understand it doesn’t feel quite so scary.
As we finished out discussion we walked to the door. She picked up the plant I had brought her, a little garden shovel and we went outside into her colorful garden. I watched as she planted that red flower. Then she stood, brushing the dirt off her hands and said, “There see how pretty that looks with the others. You came here with a worry and you’re leaving with thoughts of beautiful colors and new adventures.”
She continued,”Each one of these flowers represents some one’s worry at one time or another and each worry ended in beautiful color. You are welcome to walk the “Worry Garden and check on your plant anytime. If another worry comes along just bring another plant and we will plant that worry as well.”
All of a sudden my worries didn’t seem so heavy. As I walked thru the garden gate, I turned to wave goodbye and realized I was already walking with a lighter step and thinking about the “color” I wanted to bring into my life now.
Peaches opened up a whole new way of understanding to me. I’ve had a few new worries since that day and they all have added new color to my life