Howdy and welcome to Mariam Poppins.
Today I have a special guest! She is a Master Herbalist, Tree hugger, Author, lover of lasagna, and all things yellow. She is a powerhouse of awesomeness and she just so happens to be my twin. Al Hamdulillaah (all praise belongs to Allaah) she has been a blessing to me and my family. I asked her to share her adventure with gardening here on the blog...and not only did she deliver, she came with heart. Enjoy this awesome post from a beautiful person Ma shaa Allaah (Allaah willed)
My gardening experience is as new to me, as being a widow is. It’s been a year and nearly two months since my husband Ameer Idris (rahimahullah) passed away. It has also been nearly a year since; I have decided to get into gardening.
Our love started in 2006, when this Charm City woman and a Kings County Prince decided to meet and marry. Soon after marrying, we were blessed with 6 wonderful sons mashaAllah and shared 10 years together. When Ameer Idris passed away in 2016, from complications in his health, our family was beyond devastated. It truly was hard to live life and adjust to the new changes, which our family would soon begin to experience. I wasn’t prepared to be a young widow at 33.
Gardening Through Grief:
Ameer Idris, passed away winter 2016, the end of the year--we always spent New Years together. I remember he would rush home, because he knew I was pretty big on us, not bringing in the New Year together. But here I was… December 22, 2016 burying the man I thought I would spend my golden years with. He would no longer be rushing home before midnight; I would spend the next two new years without my husband. We (me and the children) went into to 2017, not sure what was going to happen. I was determined to have them enjoy their spring and summer. I also decided that I would begin fully embracing gardening.
Dandelions – reminds me of childhood – full of dreams and wishes, blowing them and spreading their seeds all around… it’s not only good for the liver—it’s good for the soul. Yellow has been such a bright and happy color for me.
As an herbalist, I already had a passion for plants, but I soon began to realize that they are healing for my soul too.
I started buying seeds, and transforming the backyard into my safe space, my haven, my peace and my connection to Allaah and Idris. Afterall, Idris and I started working in the yard in summer 2016. But in 2017.. gardening became my way of dealing with grief.
I tilled the soil a little, and started planting seeds and buying plants.. re-potting them and so on. I started to feel good, I cried and watered the soil with my tears, and was barefoot the whole time. I was growing tomatoes and growing myself. I would watch the butterflies enjoy my sunflowers… no OUR sunflowers, they were planted with purpose and sharing in mind. I watched the bees on the basil. I harvested food and harvested goodness, good energy, peace and my spirit felt green, just like the collard greens… full of life and nurturing. Allaah gave me a way (one of many) to handle my grief.
What gardening has taught me:
1.) Life is a process, we grow—we serve our purpose and we die. My garden is full of life and in the winter, it isn’t the same, the plants have died off .. but not before serving it’s purpose in feeding our bodies and hearts.
2.) Gardening isn’t just about food—we are growing ourselves, we are learning patience and the value of hard work.
3.) Gardening is spiritual- Allaah created everything and how awesome is it that He gives us these tiny seeds, that grow into food for us to eat.
4.) Gardening has taught me about relationships—oooh my goodness, want to better your marriage? Grow a garden together. Putting your hands in the soil, feeling the earth, and sharing the experience—brings us closer together. Team work is a must, that you will learn when you garden with others. The boys and I would work together in what we wanted to plant and where. We would harvest together and high five each other for a job well done.
5.) Gardening is a gift that we can share with others—Allaah's creatures—the big and the small can benefit from this gift. It is an unselfish act that can be done in any space. Whether you have a few plants on your windowsill, patio, balcony, in your kitchen, you can bring gardening to your home—to your life and the lives of those around you.
Starting your garden is not difficult, a lot of us say we do not have green thumbs, but we do! Taking time to learn from other gardeners helped my experience, and learning about planting through the various seasons. It can be done, inshaAllah. The reward from the experience is not only a physical one, but emotional and mental as well.
May we all benefit from the gift of gardening and grow ourselves. Ameen
🌸Digital artist, children’s book illustrator, planner & journaling enthusiast 🌸