By Sophie Gregoire

She's a Gardener, Not a Builder

She had always tried to be a builder — someone who remains on the roads formerly opened.

They told her that when you start something, you need to finish it — to go through it all. Always. Even if it’s not you anymore.

Never change your mind. Or question things and past choices. If you have new ideas, make sure your blinders are still on your face. So that you can’t really see the new inside you and figure out who you could become.

Trying to live in the builder’s world had been tough to her — painful. Evidently, builders’ lives showed advantages, and she knew it. Builders spend years investing and picking the fruits of their efforts. They erect gorgeous, well-furnished and high houses.

They often go far on their way, as they’ve started early and kept on what they were initially doing.

Builders are happy as builders. And she was happy for them to be so. Their lives look good, but to her it couldn’t be just this. Because when their house is erased, builders stop going outside. They start always breathing the same air. They stop discovering and experimenting life. They stop learning.

She was different. She couldn’t manage to be at a standstill. She was a process-girl.

When living a builder’s life, she felt like she was in jail and getting closer to death. What is death? Is it when we take our last breath? Or could it be when we voluntarily decide to freeze everything around us? To put the life’s drive inside ourselves on pause?

Builders usually have everything planned for years and years ahead. She wasn’t like this. She couldn’t be.

She would often ask herself: if we refuse all changes and new ideas to follow life plans, what space will be left for the everyday intuition? How could the magic from the new, help us grow?

How could we learn and improve ourselves if we stay hemmed in our walls?

How could we become who we are if everything is decided too early, at a time when we need to learn so much?

Is the journey worth taking if we already know everything that will happen along the way?

How could the happiness in our past curb our future?

She needed to follow her intuition. Even when the inner voice said she should try the new. And at heart, she enjoyed experimenting life, people and their flames, cities and their pulses, new places and their atmospheres.

She had learned so much from every great encounter and had felt such an awakening effect in every faraway place she had loved.

Why should she stop learning life?

The question wouldn’t go away. She was always torn between settling and investing, and discovering and processing herself.

She figured that the answer — if any — would be found in balance. Investing enough to make things work, without being at a standstill. Without being locked.

And she decided she would be a gardener.

She would be as colorful, as wild, as season-changing, as always-renewed, as bucolically-messed, as full of evolving recesses to explore, as a garden.

Who are gardeners?

Gardeners know that in life, things bloom while other die. They accept it — both in gardens, hearts and souls.

Every season, every year or every period of time, depending on their own sun and rain rhythm, gardeners have new flowers to grow. New guests come. New ideas bloom.

Gardeners love the rhythm of natural mysteries and their uncertainty. They love going to sleep wondering what color flowers will display at dawn and how tall new trees will be in a few years’ time.

Evidently, they sometimes stop getting renewed. Sometimes even forever. When they end up finding their gardens striking, they stop growing new trees.

On some days, gardeners look younger than they are, because ideas are still blooming in their minds. Because they don’t refuse fresh starts and roller coasters.

On some days, they even seem older and wiser. Because they’ve seen more, tried more. They have stumbled and failed more. They have been through hotter summers and recovered from more painful winters.

As people who have lived and experienced a lot, they are an imperfect blend of light and dark. Of sun and shadow.

But gardeners don’t stay away from investment. They build too, but differently. Their present may not be their accurate future and eternal projection, but their choices often require a great dose of courage, efforts, focus, hard work and investment.

They do finish things. They do stay. They do commit if the connection between what they do and who they are at heart is still alive. In that case, they get involved with no boundaries.

If the connection has truly faded, they move. Mostly slowly, gently and carefully with both heart and thought, step by step.

To have a new garden flower again, gardeners know it takes time. It takes a lot of attention, a great amount of sun, a good dose of water, and possibly a little help from the stars.

Then, who are gardeners? Mainly people following their intuition and heart and ready to nourish their soul in spite of its evolution. Ready to fight and work hard to do so, but also brave enough to move on if needed. Ready to let go what is not them anymore and willing to learn. Ready to change.

She thought, “I’m one of them.”


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