Welcome to the cabbage patch – a little patch of musings, anecdotes, meanderings and blunderings.
If you have come here looking for thought-provoking and intellectual stimulation or even words of wisdom about how to grow a prize winning cabbage, this may not be the cabbage patch for you BUT if you are looking for an escape, a smile or just to know that you are definitely not alone in this great big old garden called ‘life’, then you have come to the right patch (hopefully).
Where does Tales from the Cabbage Patch come from? Well, that is an excellent question especially since this blog has nothing to do with actual gardening. Several years ago, I was at a cross roads in my life. My then marriage was falling apart, I was having trouble reconciling my past with my present, and I felt like I was about to go under. I had three small children who needed me more than anything and, thankfully, I had the wherewithal to know that, by myself, I could not get through the breakdown I was either already in or was inevitably heading for.
Enter my clinical therapist, a tiny powerhouse of a woman, who became my gardener of sorts and who deserves full credit for the title of this blog. After weeks of exploring the nature of my problems, both past and present, she helped me understand my situation and helped me rise above the thoughts, feelings, and especially the pain that had been holding me hostage for years.
One day, after an especially difficult time, I arrived at my appointment a horrible mess. I had never felt so low or so broken. I needed to make sense of my world and, most importantly, I needed to know just where it was I had come from. I could not reconcile who I was with where I had come from or how I had made it as far as I had.
You see, I come from a long line of mental illness, alcoholism, and dysfunction. My family tree is filled with more than just nuts (I mean that with the utmost love and affection); it is filled with a family doing the very best it could with what they were given during times when there was neither the help nor the understanding that is available today. There were no support groups, therapists, or Google search engines to help make sense of their worlds or to teach them the necessary coping skills to help them navigate through what life had dished out to them. What there was was stigma, gossip, and suffering behind closed doors.
Back to my appointment. When my therapist gently asked what was wrong, I broke down into that ugly, ugly cry and blubbered through tears, heaving, and sobbing, “I don’t know where I came from.”
And her response? “Well, given the nature/nurture issue, you should be just like your family, but you are not. I have been a therapist for over 25 years and I cannot believe I am going to say this AND, if you ever tell anyone I told you this, I will deny it, but, in my professional opinion, I believe you were found under a really big cabbage patch leaf.”
A really big cabbage patch leaf. Really? That is the best she could come up with? I was hoping for some awesome, scientific, therapeutic explanation about who I was and where it was I had come from. I needed the setting of dramatic background music playing and lights dimming before she delivered her clinical words of wisdom. I needed to be told that I, at least, had been adopted or that I, at most, was a superhero put on this earth to right wrongs but what do I hear? I was found under a really big cabbage patch leaf.
After a moment of utter disbelief, I wiped my tears, blew my nose, straightened myself up, and smiled. A really big smile because it all made perfect sense. Yes, indeed, I had been found under a really big cabbage patch leaf and it explained everything.
It meant that I had decided I would create my own cabbage patch and live happily within it despite all the dysfunction going on around me. It meant that, while I was grounded by the incredibly strong and resilient roots of my family tree, I was not hung up in its branches. It also meant that my past did not have to define me and that I could select the best of the nuts and plant them in my own patch thereby taking the good, because there definitely was a lot of good, and I could leave the bad, because there definitely was a lot of bad, by the wayside.
And so here we are. Sitting in my cabbage patch, chatting about life, tripping over all the weeds I should have pulled but did not, and accepting that it is not our past which defines us; it is our present and what we do with it. It is about getting through each day in faith, with dignity, grace, and a good sense of humour, respecting one’s self and others, and it is about finding the good in each and every day because, believe it or not, it IS there.
Today, my cabbage patch includes my husband, my three sons, my extended family, my friends, one dog, and three wildly different cats. I nurture it the best I can and I think I do not too bad a job, all things considered.