We grow up being taught that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence.
The circumstances never seemed to matter. How tall is the fence? Is it greener because my neighbor cares harder for it? Is my yard perhaps not getting enough sunlight?
I hope you’re one of the lucky ones, where you’ve always had a patch of grass that becomes a more vibrant green each day. It’s easy for some to forget how many broken heart children around the world were never given the chance to watch their budding blades of green grow. Or maybe you’re like me, and were once blessed with a delightful green patch of your own for a decent amount of time. This is the 21st century, so it’s pretty amazing for anyone in this life to find a patch of grass as green as their day is long. May Mother Nature only challenge them for them to grow stronger the next morning.
I thought I was one of those people, until my garden of green turned grey and never grew back. I figured if I ignored the problem, I would be fine. F*ck it – I could buy a rug. Or I’ll spray paint it! I could even try a whole different vibe and sit on a pile of sand for the rest of eternity… but no illusion is powerful enough to make you forget that the foundation you were forged from is forever gone.
All around me I can see other beautiful patches of green. Some are surrounded by white picket fences; some have flowers blossoming; even the one with the garden gnome deserves its own little appreciation. Watching the greenery thrive for the ones I love helps me forget about my grey grass, until I’m reminded that it’s never growing back.
I can suddenly feel the grass more intensely under my feet. It starts to prickle and cut into my skin. I don’t want anything to do with it anymore. I begin to claw at my patch of grey. Handful by handful, I viciously tear apart clumps of what used to be part of me. With each intense motion, I can hear a scream escape from inside me. I can’t tell whether it’s anger or sadness.
I’m too weak to go on. So I sit there, in the center of my patchy grey field. I can see it under me, as hideous as it is. I can feel it between my fingertips, as brittle as it is. I can begin to sense those around me with beautifully kept lawn judging me with concerning eyes. I wake up each day and ask for a miracle. I go to bed each night and beg for an escape. There’s only so much longer of this I can endure.
So I vow to shut my eyes, because maybe it can help shut out the pain. It helps for a bit. I can still feel my grass cutting my feet as I walk each day, but at least I can’t see the grey.
Problem is, blocking out the grey also means blocking out the green still surrounding me. No matter how welcoming or refreshing a nearby patch of grass may seem, I cannot allow myself to accept it to be true. Good things don’t come to the grey.
Oh, how desperately I crave for a neighbor to spare a soft patch from their own, even if for just one night of a little comfort. I hopelessly wish for someone to guide the way for my re-growth by extending a handful of fresh seeds. But I slowly realize that day will never come. The borrowed patch of grass would eventually wither away. Even seeds of promise and hope are useless if I don’t find my own watering bucket.
But knowing how to grow out of the grey is only a roadmap. Finding the will to heal your foundation of green is not so easy. So you wait. You wait until your patch of grey is so withered that your once proudly standing blades now peel over and blow away into the wind. It’s not until you reach the layer of sharp rocks under your fragile patch that you realize it may be too late. The few blades remaining sway easily in the breeze, and you can sense the impending blow that will finally pull all you have left into emptiness…
It would’ve been easier to sit by my patch and simply waste my time away by watching my grass go completely grey. I couldn’t tell you how or why, but I decided to skip the show. To be honest, I think I was just too exhausted to even watch. The credits would have probably blown anyway.
So, I did the only thing I was still capable of doing. I ripped off a hefty chunk of my dead patch of grass and lit up my SOS… and someone showed up. They welcomed me into a community that saw beauty and wonder in my torn up, mostly empty, gloomy grey grass. They let me borrow the communal watering bucket. I couldn’t see far out enough to find a fresh water oasis, so I filled the bucket with my tears. Most nights, I’d be able to refill it at least a tiny bit, which I would then sprinkle over my patch of grey.
I awoke one morning to the smell of a fresh blade growing. It was a tiny sprout, but it was there. I filled the bucket to the brim that day. I cried and laughed and pranced around my patch while twirling my bucket. My tears poured out and danced in the breeze before brushing atop my blades and sinking deep into the core.
Suddenly the sun appeared. It slowly rose from beyond the horizon before illuminating my entire field. I stood and stared in awe. I no longer had a sad patch of grey, but I also didn’t have one of green… what I have now is even better. I knelt down and ran my hands through my blooming blades, which now radiated a tranquil turquoise.
I miss the green; it was my favorite color growing up. However, the turquoise is my own creation, and I will carry it with me honorably. It grows in strength more each day, with each moment of gratitude and self-compassion. Some blades still occasionally drift away in the storms, but the new sprouts appear a little quicker now. I love my turquoise, as well as the important life lessons it has taught me:
*Not everyone will be able to recognize the difference between the green and the turquoise, and that’s OK.
*My turquoise grass will continue to flourish vigorously, as long as I stay invested.
*You cannot let yourself go grey forever… because once you do, there’s no coming back.