404 Don’t Touch My Strawberry Plants! – An Exercise in Personal Boundaries | Stephen Garrett

Don’t Touch My Strawberry Plants! – An Exercise in Personal Boundaries

Sometimes our stuff gets in other peoples’ way.

Sometimes we do things with their stuff ‘cause we forget it is not ours.

Sometimes we forget there is a difference between yours, mine, and ours.

Sometimes when we are focused on our own needs we forget to check with others about theirs and we create interpersonal speed bumps.

It is easy in busy modern day life to run right over people’s boundaries; especially, it seems, in our families. We tend to get so self-centered and task focused that we literally miss others. An individual’s personal needs and perspectives can often be mistaken for everyone’s.

Such was the case in my home the other week.

I have very few plants in our family gardens that I am attached to. One is a rescued blueberry bush in the backyard, another is a magnolia tree I/we planted in the front yard, and the final one ‘was’ a strawberry plant that was magically wandering its way through the front yard gardens. The wandering part was what I really loved about this particular strawberry plant – I was always surprised at where I would find its next juicy red offering.

Well, this wandering feature was not as warmly appreciated by others in my family. It was seen as a type of garden urban sprawl – a kind of lawless rebel that needed to be restrained, in fact cleansed from the very garden it so loved. The next thing I knew the garden, perhaps more neat and tidy, was without my ever bearing strawberry plant which I now understood resided in the compost bag. All of this without so much as a mention of the cleansing plans to me the plants rightful ‘guardian’.

I was pissed off.

Now, the trespass was noticed by other family members and duly and sharply addressed. There was a genuine attempt to make right the infringement and a hanging basket of strawberries was offered up as an apology. The suggestion was that the berries could happily be hung and thereby not over run ‘our’ garden space. So it was kind of a conditional apology.

Hmmm, I don’t think so.

You see what I loved about the strawberry plant was it’s random, uncontainable, wandering, chaotic, spontaneous, nature. The now deceased strawberry plant was actually mine and given the garden is ours I feel strongly I have a claim, perhaps a right, to have plants of my choosing represented there.

The negotiations are now on – my right to have a plant of my choosing in ‘our’ garden versus an other’s preference for order and neatness.

Ahhhh, the Zen of personal boundaries, stay tuned for the results.

 

Warmly and with gratitude

Stephen

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