We have embraced a number of projects on our journey towards gardening for mindfulness, aimed at developing our sons senses of seeing, hearing, feeling and smelling. Through these sensory enhancements, we aim to ease his terrors, calm his mind and give him the tools to help control his random thoughts and concerns. At least to try, without always having to pump medication into him.
Our first project, which is ideal for this time of year, is the sowing and cultivation of tomato seeds. Though our son will not understand some of the detail, we will talk through how the plant has spent the previous season growing and producing the seeds that we are now going to plant, aiming to give him some understanding about these minute little things in the palm of our hands. We will reflect on the fact that each of these seeds holds a leaf, stem and roots that will with his care, grow into a new plant from which we can, with care and attention, grow to give us the tomatoes that we can eat.
A lesson we need to understand, is that we need to ensure we nurture it continually and once we have committed to sow the seeds, we cannot abandon them. We have to give them constant attention, considering their needs to allow them to grow. We will use this analogy in other aspects of relationships and life where constant attention is required to enable growth and health. This is an area that his Autism prevents him from understanding, or indeed wanting to engage with and so we hope this may be a tool to help him.
As with relationships, a plant grows and has differing requirements as it grows, we need to understand that, learn about it and provide it, so that ultimately the plant, and indeed the relationships can reward us by flourishing.
What we nurture, nurtures us in return.
Our chosen Tomato seeds were recommended by a [Flickr] friend and our first Gardening for mindfulness project starts here with ‘Attempts to nurture’