The Prodigal Daughter Returns to the Garden
On warm summer breezes in my adolescence, I’d catch a faint scent of it with the wind. The garden. The garden. The garden of my Wider Self... Abandoned. Forgotten. Beckoning me Home.
The smell of gardenias and blackberries. Visions of rainbows, new growth and giant trees. A soul remembering of magic and sunshine, planted dreams and absolute, total freedom. It is my true home, my safe place, my heaven.
So, how could I ever leave it? How could I forget about it?
At risk of sounding like a victim, I would point the first finger at society... cultural conditioning.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a FIRM believer in the fact that this is a “no victim universe” and we all choose our circumstances for a reason. However, I have looked my captors straight in the eye and I recognize their faces.
In A’murican culture, we are asked to break away from our inner child and to abandon our garden. To replace these beautiful wild, natural feelings with maturity - cold indifference and a room with white walls, hardwood floors. This is how you earn the respected title of “adult”... leave the child behind. Forget about the garden. Abandon the wild passion of your youth and become “civilized”.
I was a “good girl” growing up. I wanted to become a respected, successful business woman, so early in my childhood, I learned to abandon the garden. Our precious games of fairies and climbing trees, swimming in swamps and catching tadpoles were over. I learned to forget that magic is real. Other people’s opinions grew louder than my own voice and with my garden, I lost my magic. Becoming a clone of society with only faint access and rememberings to who I AM, my existence became dull and unfulfilling.
I tell this story, as my own, but I am acutely aware that this story is not just mine. This is the story of many modern day women and men. We are conditioned to follow this path, the path of leaving our garden and abandoning our birthright (our magic) to become a responsible member of society. Yet there is a breaking point! There is a breaking point when even the grandest comforts and closest community leave us feeling unfulfilled and we yearn, deeply desire to come back to our true selves. We feel the heartbeat of something deeper inside us, calling us home. This is our hero's journey. Returning to the garden. Reclaiming our magic.
Growing up Christian, the story of the Prodigal Son always resonated with me deeply, like cry when you hear it in church deeply. There’s something so pure and truly unconditional about it. Imagining that the prodigal son would take his whole inheritance, his full potential and completely blow it. Spend it all, get rid of it. That he would defame his family name and live in isolation for years. Go from a prince to a servant. Be left feeling completely helpless, defeated and guilty.
THEN, at his lowest, when he came crawling back to his father’s house (seeking just the slightest mercy… asking to be a servant) that his father would feel nothing but absolute joy and unconditional love for him. That ALL would be completely forgiven and he would be welcomed back to his father’s house with open arms. Ahh… I’m tearing up just writing this. The prodigal son becomes a prince again.
This type of unconditional love and compassion is ALL of our birthrights. Every single one of us, no matter what you’ve done or who you’ve become. The prodigal son’s father gives him the best robes, the tastiest foods and the most extravagant party just for returning, saying “my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.” WOW.
So my story goes like this too.
The princess, heir to her own divine inheritance and abundance of her soul, cut herself off at the roots when things got painful around her childhood and hometown memories. When it came time to grow up, she abandoned her garden and flew far far away, thinking “that’s child stuff. I don’t need that.”
Decades later, in a corporate job, living in a nice place near the beach, she would feel lost, empty, forgotten, unfulfilled. She would miss something she could barely remember. Yet, she would know that she was meant for it. Longing for even a small taste of her Higher Self’s kingdom, she would begin searching. Many teachers and many paths would lead her in circles. She would find many methodologies and many different tools and slowly she would begin to spiral back, inward.
It would be painful. It would be rewarding. It would be disgusting, hard and lonely. It would be fulfilling, joyful and fun. It would be all the things that the journey is meant to be.
And on a warm summer day in her early 20s, she would find the truth of who she is again. She would begin to remember her own personal magic and on certain days a light breeze would bring to her nose, the smell of her garden.
The garden. The garden. She begins to remember the garden. FULL of fruits, veggies, flowers and magic. Rock stacks, crystals, her giant tree of life and long, wide fields of golden wheat and sunshine. Butterflies, dragonflies, rainbow light. Deep blue lagoons, waterfalls and crystal caverns. The well of her own rainbow energy. She remembers and she returns. In her garden, she is the creatress and her magic, her power is lost to her no longer. She is home.
She “drinks from the well of (herself) and begins again”.
And now, even as I’m writing this, I hear some of your voices. I hear my own voice (the voice of the “mature adult”) laughing, saying “are you crazy?” “you believe in fairies and giants and magic again?” I can understand if you feel any skepticism towards this garden, because at the time of me writing this, the mature adult in me is still resisting the garden too. “Things can’t just be butterflies and rainbows all the time” she says… and they aren’t!
But, in my garden that is reality. And in my garden I am home. And in my garden, I am Queen. I clawed my way back to this... bloody knuckles and knees. I fought for this. So the opinions of one million enemies and one million friends could not tell me that what I’m saying is wrong because I know it in my own heart. Even the voice of that “mature adult” Courtney cannot claim that this isn’t real. I have seen it with my own internal eye. I have felt the joy, the peace, the return to myself within this very garden. It has healed me and allowed me a way to work with my wounds that transcends all “talk therapy” and “logic”. It is a deep medicine. Coming home to yourself.
Your garden holds a million rememberings and lost friends, metaphors and manifestations of real world problems that you see in your life. Like my friend Gilligan, the giant, banished from my garden for being too clumsy and awkward, for loving too much and making friends with even the people who look like enemies. A lost fragment of myself that embarrassed me in my early teens and was kicked out of the garden. He recently appeared to help me fix a hole in the garden wall that only he understood (hint: it has to do with giving my power away). And this is how I’m healing.
Your imagination is your greatest tool. It unlocks the truths of who you are on the deepest levels. It is purely your own. Your own magic. No other imagination is like yours. It releases the medicine, intuitive to your being that allows you to heal and then grow. It helps us to understand events in our life and work through them in a way that is native to our heartspace. Our garden, our magic is our birthright.
You need not live in exile any longer. Return to yourself, to your garden, to your magic. You are waiting for you there, in a million beautiful forms, ready to welcome you home with the unconditional love that is also your birthright.
This is the work that I do. This is my story. The prodigal daughter returns to the garden. And your story goes like this, too.
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?” - Luke 15:4