The Garden as a Metaphor for Life

The garden, in which seeding, birth, development, maturation, withering, fall, are nothing more than an allegory of the expressions of our personal seasons of life.

A garden has its own life path: plants are born, grow, develop, they have to face pathogenic organisms that act as vectors of viruses, bad weather, and their existence is not always as peaceful as it might appear. The life of a garden therefore teaches us the path of life, that we must take care of ourselves, to grow, to eradicate what is no longer needed. It still teaches us that even life has very strong seeds that if left to blossom according to their times and ways are able to face inevitable storms and thunderstorms. It teaches us that it takes patience, constancy and perseverance in giving birth, keeping alive, and even reviving an “existence”.

Taking care of a garden helps to understand the interactions between elements such as the soil, the temperature, the changeability of the plants and above all the seasons, to wait for the time necessary for the seed to begin to germinate. Therefore, it teaches us hope, trust, expected in becoming and of the fruit that will come.

As in a garden, what we cultivate grows better in our life and, on the other hand, if we focus only on the “weeds” (negative emotions), we forget to feed the plants (our loved ones) that are most important to our existence.

A garden needs to be prepared in order to receive new life. In the same way, we must prepare the optimal conditions to give life to a professional project, to clarify our ideas about what we really want to do, to understand what resources we need and to recognize the obstacles we will have to face.

In a garden it is necessary to remove the stones that prevent the seed from germinating. Those stones symbolize for us those “hardened” complexes of beliefs (derived from religion, from the culture of belonging, from the education received, from the family context, from lived experiences, from fears, etc.) which hinder or slow down the realization of the life that we wish.

To cure plants against parasites, the right “medicines” are needed; even our intentions can suffer external attacks – lack of economic resources, people who demotivate us, places that lower our energy level, delays, difficulties, etc. – or internal – fears, doubts, lack of confidence, insecurities etc. – and for each one we must identify the right defense strategy.

Without water, we know, a plant cannot grow, flower or bear fruit. We must avoid the aridity of everything that leads us to feel apathetic, disinterested, and take care of ourselves and what we are cultivating in our lives with perseverance, patience, determination and trust so as not to sabotage our efforts unnecessarily.

Depleted soil needs fertilizing. We too, at certain times, may need extra nourishment, that we can find, for example, in people, books, places and, in general, in everything that inspires and stimulates our reflection.

The earth is sensitive to climatic conditions. Our emotions, if not managed consciously, influence our actions.

Pruning in gardening is an art that implies knowing how to carefully choose which parts of the plant to eliminate and which not, the same goes for our lives. You have to know how to carefully evaluate what we really no longer need and it has turned into a brake on our personal growth.

It often happens that a plant, especially if in a pot, may need to move to a different space. We too, sometimes, in proceeding towards our goals, realize that we have planted some “flower of our existence” in the least suitable place. The transplant, in our life, refers precisely to the ability to change the path taken if is not the one that suits our needs or expectations.

There is a precious collaboration between plants and insects to ensure the continuation of life (pollination). For us too, encouraging the pollination of our existence means opening ourselves up to others, to social interactions, to collaborations, we need others to accelerate our results, grow thanks to comparison, enrich our personal wealth of resources and, above all, to act as a source of inspiration for the psychological maturation of those close to us.

A garden is limited, it has boundaries.

Our life has them too, so that we can create scenarios, relationships, shape our life in the way we feel is most authentic. And we must also clearly see our boundaries, our limits, attend humility, respect others, and discover the vitality that sometimes shows itself in the most hidden corners of our days.

If all this is plausible, then dedicating yourself to the care of a garden can help us, to some extent, to better understand the meaning of our life, to recover that temporal dimension in which everything slows down and, precisely for this reason, we are better in tune with the times of the mind. Makes us feel oriented to more tolerable rhythms, those of nature which, if observed carefully, allows us to become more aware of our existence.


Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo Delli Paoli
Aldo is a lawyer and teacher of law & Economic Sciences, "lent" to the finance world. He has worked, in fact, 35 years long for a multinational company of financial service in the auto sector, where he held various roles, until that of CEO. In the corporate field, he has acquired skills and held positions as Credit Manager, Human Resource Manager, Team leader for projects of Acquisition & Merger, branch opening, company restructuring, outplacement, legal compliance, analysis and innovation of organizational processes, business partnerships, relations with Trade Unions and Financial Control Institutions. After leaving the company, he continued as an external member of the Board of Directors e, at the same time, he has gone back practicing law and was a management consultant for various companies. He has been also a columnist for newspapers specializing in labor law, automotive services and work organization. His interests include human behavior in the organizational environment, to the neuroscience, the impact of new technologies, the fate of the planet and people facing poverty or war scenarios. He loves traveling, reading, is passionate about many sports, follows the NBA and practices tennis.

DO YOU HAVE THE "WRITE" STUFF? If you’re ready to share your wisdom of experience, we’re ready to share it with our massive global audience – by giving you the opportunity to become a published Contributor on our award-winning Site with (your own byline). And who knows? – it may be your first step in discovering your “hidden Hemmingway”. LEARN MORE HERE