Getting to the root of pandemic stress

Jun 14, 2021

Living through a pandemic with its lockdowns, uncertainties and stress is taking a toll on us all, mentally and physically. We’re all coping the best way we can. From time to time, most of us feel despair, anger, hurt, loneliness, confusion and fear about what the future may hold.

I’m fortunate to have a garden. It’s taught me many lessons, and kept me sane during this pandemic. The biggest lesson for me is when I’m weeding. I weed on my hand and knees. Sometime I bend so low, my nose hits the dirt. I smell the earth. I put my hands in it. It instantly grounds me. Then my weeding becomes a meditation, a silent communication with Mother Earth, with God, with the Creator.

I’ve learned that my emotions are like weeds. If you want to get rid of a weed and make sure it won’t grow back, you have to do more that just chop off the leaves and the flowers. You have to dig deep and get the whole root.

There are many types of weed roots. Some, like dandelions, are strong, long and tapered. Others are like small white threads that spread just under the surface of the soil. You have to carefully follow the thread until it ends to make sure the weed doesn’t come back.

The best time to weed is after it rains. Then the earth is soft and damp. The weeds come up quickly under my trowel.

As I weed I focus on a particularly emotion I want to get rid of… let’s say it’s anger. When my anger manifests, it’s like the green leaves and flower of the weed. But that’s all above ground. What is happening deep down inside of me? How can I prevent this anger from coming back?

If I want to figure out the root cause of my anger, I have to dig deep within myself. Getting the whole root will help me understand where my anger is coming from. It will help my eliminate it.

It helps if I cry. Crying, like rain on the earth, loosens my soul. It’s easier to see the root of my anger. Then I can rid myself of it.

Weeding my garden has helped me with many difficult emotions brought about by this pandemic. I believe it’s kept me sane.