On my journey with conscious connection, there have been trying times. Times when I have had to really learn about loving all life the consciously connected way.
When complete devastation makes no sense, you have to dig deep within to fathom the grand plan. One trying incident brought the familiar heart pound I experience when I’m shocked to my core.
I love my garden. It is now a colourful oasis created from the once barren concrete yard to the back of my flat. I moved into my current property after coming out of hospital in 2016. My diary entry from that time reads…
“To the rear of the property was a small south facing yard. Completely bleak and devoid of any colour. It was concreted over and not very inviting. I envisaged it filled with pots of flowers and a small seated area to catch the sun during the day. My mind went into overdrive at what plants I would fill it with. I wanted to get started as soon as I was fit and able. It was coming into early autumn by then and I knew, even if my physical state would have allowed me to begin planting, the weather would have different ideas. So, I resolved to begin brightening it up by spring the following year.”
In summer of 2019, the barren spot was transformed with wisteria, jasmine, lilac, bay, willow, Japanese acers, and fuchsias.
Amid all this beautiful colour and cascading foliage sat 6 pots. 4 with different species of tomato plants, and 2 with cucumbers.
I acquired these 6 vegetable plants after a visit to a friend in Dumfries. As I left, I was given spare plants from the poly tunnel on the property, with instruction on how to care for them back at the flat.
Placing the pots into the garden, I eagerly awaiting the fruits of their labour at harvest time and went to bed.
The following morning, I looked out of my kitchen window to be confronted with a dismal site.
Complete and utter devastation brought a pounding thump to my heart.
Identifying the Culprit
The complete dismay I felt began in my heart and slowly sank through my body into the pit of my stomach. As it travelled the initial feeling gave way to intense anger at the creature responsible. I couldn’t believe my eyes.
A common garden snail.
Finding myself spitting angry insults at the retreated snail, I snarling at it for having desecrated my cucumber plant. I even moved forward to pick it up and hurl it from the garden. I'd hoped some bird would pick it up as a quick meal.
Taking a Step Back to Reconnect with Loving All Life
And then, I stopped. I sat on the ground in front of it and watched its slow deliberate movement as it made its way along. Closing my eyes, breathing through my body, I reconnected with the source of energy around me. I looked back at the snail and imagined breathing through it in a sense of singular connection. At that connected moment I found myself curious as to why I had been so angry. Sure, the cucumber plant was gone, however the beauty of the shell and the coordination of the snail’s movement seemed so serene.
Feeling a sense of calmness wash over me, my anger quelled as the snail moved about its business. After all, it had done what came naturally and had no thought for my attachment to the plant it had eaten. Giggling at my absurd reaction, all my previous dismay and anger vanished completely. I left the slow wanderer to continue on its path and decided to protect the remaining cucumber plants. Noticing they hadn't been touched, I placed the tomato pots as sentinels around its periphery.
Loving all Life by Going a Step further
Touched by the whole episode, I decided to return to the flat and looked up the purpose of my new friend. I wanted to see what role it played in the ecosystem, thinking it must be viewed as some type of parasite. Being as succinct as possible, I quickly Googled “what is the point of snails.” To my surprise google returned 26,900,000 results in less than a second. This was when I was humbled to find out how vital these little creatures are.
BBC Wildlife Organisation provided a very good piece which described the importance of these little movers.
“Slugs and snails are very important. They provide food for all sorts of mammals, birds, slow worms, earthworms, insects, and they are part of the natural balance. By removing them we can do a lot of harm. Thrushes in particular thrive on them!”
Loving all Life as Precious Regardless of no Cucumbers!
After my experience with the snail, and having found out how important they are, I felt sure our connection meant something. I would look from my kitchen window every morning watching the remaining cucumber continue its growth under the protection of the tomato guards. Then, approximately one week later, filling the kettle from the sink, I glanced out to see a distinct lack of green in the centre of my tomatoes. I put the kettle on to boil, opened the back door, and ventured into my garden.
Sure enough, my last remaining cucumber sat as a sad little stalk in the middle of its pot. This time, instead of feeling dismayed, agitated and angry, a smile came upon my face. “You’re welcome” I said to the ether, as not a single snail was to be seen. “No cucumbers this year, but I’m glad you enjoyed your meal.”