It is the end of the calendar year and for many of us that leads to reflections. Maybe those reflections lead to resolutions, maybe not. Although I have a private journal that is meant for no one else, ‘writing therapy’ as I call it, I also have a hunger to express myself to the greater world and this here little website helps this earth child share life as an open book. No, you will never get all the nitty gritty thoughts and details because, honestly, who would want that, but if it so moves you to read about some of what this one human is going through, then please do and thank you.

2022 was one hell of a year from my perspective. I lost my mom, am configuring a new relationship with my father, questioned my marriage, almost lost a child to drug overdose, had my husband hit hard by Covid, continuously got writer’s block even though it was my goal to do a lot of writing this year, and experienced serious peri-menopause as I leave the last year of my forties. On the flip side, I traveled to a beautiful rural village in Mexico to reunite with an old friend, spent 10 days in Sicily on a plant pilgrimage, had precious time with extended family members, witnessed the creativity and joy of our blossoming 9 year-old daughter, renewed my deep love for Hart, shared quality time with dear friends, went on beautiful hikes, participated in the thriving school on this land, dispersed hundreds of perennial plants to folks and hosted an array of plant walks and tea ceremonies that filled my soul. The lows are never without the highs.

But as the year is coming to a close, I find myself really pondering this deep need to express myself so openly and share and write and take photos and document and reach out. I am acknowledging how important it is for me to be seen and heard. My voice matters. But so does everyone’s and as social media has shown us so well, we are a cacophony of hungry ghosts just screaming to be witnessed all the time! What a mess and who could ever watch it all but Creator?

I am daily wrestling with the fact that I want so much attention and, ironically, the more I want it, the less I get. Am I going crazy in mid-life? Has anybody else experienced this?

I have not set dates for next year’s plant sale, plant walks or tea ceremonies, as I have no spunk for it right now. Hopefully that will change. I am praying for direction. I don’t feel clarity about where my energy should be going except on these matters: I am devoted to my walk with God, being a mother and wife, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, good friend and community member, homemaker and land steward. This is totally clear, and I have full energy and excitement to do it well. Thing is, after all the responsibilities that come with that, I don’t have a lot of time and energy for the “public’ things I also desire to give.

When I was a teenager, I had fantasies of being a movie star, of being famous and rich. I must admit I have never lost the desire to be wildly popular, yet I have no interest or will to provide what that would take to maintain. Believe it or not, I like a lot of privacy and to be left alone. I need ample quiet time with plants and my cat. In short, as I wrote in my last piece, I am full of contradictions. Mary is the best name I could have been given- “Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?”

Usually, I am not so full of myself and I wonder if this is a midlife crisis or what? But I am being driven insane by the great divide between being a full-time homemaker and a public figure/writer. I am also so humbled being in this human body that is in slow decay while I live in it—we like to use the word ‘aging’ instead but let’s be frank–this body that is beautiful, messy, ugly, stinky, pleasant, unpleasant, needy— this flesh and blood and bone- it is a temple we  inhabit while doing our soul’s work and none of us can do that work for the other. 

What is my legacy? What do I want to leave behind? As I leave yet another year behind, and simultaneously approach 50, it’s no longer just a question of what do I want to offer today, but what will my story be when I’m gone? Will I have made an impact? Is this just my ego rising forth? What if I could help make the world a better place just with my thoughts and prayers but never receive credit or respect or any acknowledgment for my efforts? Would I still do it?

Yes, I would. And I do.

Hopefully my rambling gives you pause to look at this past year, what is alive in you, and where you want to go in 2023, whether it be geographically or just mentally. I know I want to write more about the plant- human connection because that is my passion. What is yours?