Take my garden for example. Due to the excessively rainy summer we have just had, and the buckets of compost tea and love that have been poured into the earth, the pumpkins and cherry tomatoes have gone berserk. We are picking pumpkins of all shapes and sizes using wheelbarrows as they are too heavy to carry. We are eating so well, and cooking for so many without having to think of frugality at all. It is a luscious, exciting time in the garden AND it is EXTREMELY unruly. The spent vines are wrapped around all the other plants, and I dare not pull them out as there may still be baby pumpkins clinging and thriving on their ends....the tomatoes have become a force to be reckoned with, and they too have taken on the personas of jungle plants, climbing up native trees and popping their little rosy cheeked trusses out from any available space.
It is a little overwhelming to be honest.
Don't get me wrong - I LOVE abundance - it really fits well with my spontaneous and somewhat indulgent personality. But using the garden as a metaphor, I can see how moments of true abundance in life, if not handled carefully, can result in piles and piles of mess.
For example: someone wins the lotto. Confetti spurts and anthems play! The winner is flush with joy and the sense of possibility that abundance brings, throwing piles of money in the air while lounging on a massive heap of hundreds (see how the images we are served by advertising creep in!!). It seems as though they will live happily ever after....but then....distant relatives sidle up asking for 'loans', investors call offering advice, the question of using the money 'well' arises....as Martin Seligman writes in his book 'Authentic Happiness' (and I'm paraphrasing); it is consistently shown that happiness rises momentarily after winning large amounts of money and then, almost ALWAYS, decreases!
I think that is because of the mess. The sense of overwhelm. The perceived increase in responsibility and 'work' that must be done to make things clean again.
We had a few days of abundance here at the freedom farm this week when some friends came up to stay. It poured with rain - a deluge of water from the sky, creating a stunning series of waterfalls off the sandstone mountains and a real charge in the atmosphere. A light blew up. After a rich and delicious dinner party we got abundantly drunk playing pool under the thundering corrugated iron of the shed roof, turning the turntable speakers to full so The Doors and Neil Young could compete with the drumming of the rain. It was luscious and a bit wild, open and decidedly free, we played like mischevious children loose in a world of fun.
But we created mess. The messy heads consequence of an abundance of wine, the records strewn around and needing work to re-pair disc with sleeve, emotional catalysts creating raw truths and big questions.
Abundance and mess. They go together like roast pumpkin and cherry tomatoes! It's a bit of work to peel and roast, chop and season, but when you do the result is truly delicious. And really, really good for you.
The key is to resist the overwhelm. It's ONLY pumpkins/money/rain....you can handle it with a bit of laughter and some buckets. With an abundance of love for yourself you can clean up any mess....now, I'm off with the fam to the ST Albans folk festival....the garden is just fine and the mess can most certainly wait til tomorrow!