Using nature to take stock

Forgive any emotion here. It has been a difficult week.

I have been growing increasingly unwell feeling over the last few months. Saturday I hit a wall where I admitted to myself I am not OK. Sunday I told my family. Monday I was in the hospital and that evening I had emergency surgery.

I am home now but I am not well. I am unlikely to be well for a long time.

I miss my garden.

I miss my little bees, the Nannotrigona perilampoides with whom I like to identify. They are not flashy. They are small and focused on their work. They are not picky and make do with whatever flowers they encounter. They are stingless but if the pipe in which they live communally is threatened, they work together to swarm quite impressively.

I miss my Condylostylus, the delicate, beautiful flies that come in green and blue and red and gold and sometimes even rainbows. They pose prettily when I speak to them kindly and finding any new color/body/wing combination feels a little thrilling.

I miss my hoppers, my funny little Membracis mexicana that remind me of roosters, the Colpoptera that remind me of koi, the Bolbonata that look like a cross between an acorn and a buffalo, the Two-marked Treehoppers that look like little brontosaurs.

I miss the hummingbirds that feed right beside me and I miss my little owl friend at dawn and dusk.

I miss the soft sway of the Natal Grass, the way Catstongue clings to my clothes and the pups’ fur, the way Solanum erianthum flowers always remind me of tiny banana bunches.

I am so grateful for iNaturalist. I would never have known any of the names, even as I still would have appreciated my garden and its occupants. I just appreciate everyone who has been kind and patient as I stumbled my way through the little bit I have learned. Being able to look at my photos here, seeing past kindnesses, is extremely helpful right now.

I just miss my little garden.


So sorry to hear that, Lucy. I’m not sure what else to say except that I hope you get better sooner than you expect and are able to be outside. Your posts here always show what a thoughtful person you are.


Thanks @tiwane. I have a flurry of additional imaging and tests and then another, larger surgery in 6 weeks. I am hopeful I might get a little better before then though, even if just to sit outside a bit. (I was raised to believe in medicinal fresh air.)


I find your post very moving. I hope it’s OK to say that I am glad you asked for and are receiving the help you need to get well. May you recover fully and as speedily as possible, and when you return to your garden, I hope it has grown even more beautiful for you.


Thank you @octobertraveler and that is 100% OK to say. In truth I have a terrible habit of not prioritizing myself, but thankfully my family recognizes that when I say something is very wrong, it means I likely should have seen a doctor some time ago.

There is a caregiving truth, which I read once somewhere, though I cannot remember where.

Everyone falls into four categories within their lifetime:

  • Those who need caregiving.
  • Those who are caregivers.
  • Those who have received care in the past.
  • Those who will need care in the future.

I have always struggled in the first.

Thank you for your kind hopes for me, my lousy kidneys, and my garden.


May I suggest a meditation? Close your eyes. Take five deep breaths. Try to push everything else out of your mind. Then imagine the sun on your skin as if you were in the garden. Feel the breeze on your face. Remember the smell of the plants and soil. Hear the sounds. See the birds and the insects. Make everything as real as you can. It will be difficult at first. Keep at it till you can get back to the real thing.

I wish you a speedy recovery.


I love this. Thank you. This reminds me of the song I picked to listen to while the operating team was doing their checkin meeting, the nurse was prepping instruments and the anesthesiologist worked her magic: Follow the Sun (Xavier Rudd).


So sorry to read this @ItsMeLucy. I understand how you feel, I miss all my little creatures when I can’t go outside (which happens from time to time through chronic illness). I’ve found that when I can’t change the situation, I can change my thoughts - the meditation idea suggested by @kevintoo is really so good. That way you can still commune with all your little favourites and hopefully gain some relaxation and hope for the future. I understand too, that reluctance to accept care and assistance, but over the years I’ve come to know that allowing yourself to receive the care of others enriches your life and shows you just how supportive and caring human beings can be. I really hope that you can relax and help yourself recover, very soon. All the very best.


You have opened a space in your garden for nature. The plants and their creatures will continue with their lives in the space you made for them. And will welcome you back in time. There will be new lives to discover there. May the kindness you give circle back to support you now, our Lucy in Mexico.


Thank you all for your kindness. We met with my surgeon Saturday afternoon and the big surgery has been accelerated to this coming Saturday, 10 June, which hopefully means I will recover sooner rather than later although it will still be some time. :blue_heart:


You and your family and medical team are in our hearts and prayers. Godspeed, Lucy.


Ugh, Lucy, how awful. I am so glad, however, that you are on top of whatever is going on and will hopefully recover fully after your pending surgery. I will think of you.

Your garden will be there when you’re ready to return - maybe not exactly the way you left it, but it will. Is there a room that you can be in where you can look at it through the windows?

1 Like

This is such a beautiful, moving tribute to your garden.

You will be in my thoughts tomorrow and in the days to come.

It is difficult being unwell and trying not to be impatient with our own limitations. I hope your memories of your garden and its residents give you strength to help you through this time. I am also a great believer in the healing power of time spent in nature.

Would your family members be willing to take a few daily pictures of your garden and its inhabitants to share with you until you are able to sit outside and visit them again yourself?

In the meantime, here is a green-eyed balcony visitor to bring you a tiny bit of comfort from the other side of the world (the resident spiders declined to be photographed).


I wonder, on the other side of the world, if you are recovering, or still waiting?
We think of you each time Mexico comes up on iNat.


Sending you all the strength and healing that I can.


Today is surgery day.
We’re sending thoughts, prayers, and healing energy for you and your family.


I’t is 5:45 and we leave in a few minutes for the hospital. I have to be there at 7. The surgery is at 8 and should last 4 - 6 hours.

I feel very calm, the preoperative valoration reviewed with us yesterday was very low for surgical complications. Thank you for your kindness. I am hopeful to be back soon and RECOVERING. :blue_heart: :muscle:


You will be in my thoughts and prayers. We are with you and supporting you. :place_of_worship:

You are strong❣️


Lucy, we have never met and probably never will, but I was very moved by your post and related to it strongly from recent experience of my own. You will be in surgery as I write. I send you best wishes from Canada (now my home) to Mexico (once my home) and I hope that you will be very soon back enjoying and observing your garden. It is a cliche, but true, that nature is a great healer.


Sending you healing thoughts!

1 Like