At some point in my teens and twenties, I came to believe that the innate ability and desire within me to nurture was a liability rather than a asset. The vulnerability of the role scared me, and I severed myself from this seemingly feminine quality that I viewed as a weakness.
This summer, I began gardening. The natural elements are not particularly friendly to Texas gardeners. Success here requires savvy and grit.
A few weeks ago, in the dusk of the setting sun, I performed my daily rituals of harvesting okra and watering tomato seedlings. As I worked, I considered the word “nurture”.
I realized, not so many years ago and not so far away, the ability to nurture was and is a great strength. It is the work of survival.
Who are the nurturers of this world?
Nurturers are the visionaries who see the great potential that lies in vulnerable beginnings.
Hunger, thirst, sickness, darkness and discouragement – against all odds – nurturers defend the opportunity of the weak to grow strong. They encourage the impotent and the infertile to become fruitful.
And, there in the garden, in the sweat of my own hard work, the exile within me returned home.