I moved from Kentucky to South Carolina quite a while ago. For the longest time I missed living in Kentucky. It was a beautiful state, I had lots of friends there and a job I actually liked most days. There was however adventure awaiting for me in South Carolina that would lead to a family, solid love and a true partner in my life. South Carolina has become my home and where I am raising my family. It is not however without a few Kentucky touches.
In my garden bed is a patch of Kentucky mint that grows more and more each year. I can smell it on those early mornings I step outside to stand on the deck while I wait on the dog. We pick it to add to our iced tea or make ice cream. It is also each year usually this time of year I pick a bunch of it to put in a vase and bring in the house as it marks the time of year I moved from Kentucky to South Carolina. It marks the time I chose to change my entire life and listen to the wisdom of my own heart in what was right for me.
I always put the mint in a vintage green ceramic vase. It’s a vase my ex mother-in-law gave me when I was still living in Kentucky. She shared her love of vintage dishware with me and it’s a love I personally enjoy myself with multiple sets of dishes and vintage pieces. This particular vase gets used for this mint because it fits the bundle I usually pick. It also connects the past and present for me. See despite being a different climate and growing soil here, Kentucky mint still thrives in South Carolina. It reminds me of my own strength and growth and the connection of the mint and vase remind me of my own journey.
Nature has a funny way of making us remember our journey. The start of each new season gives me pause to remember and reflect while looking out to what is next. Spring is when I moved to South Carolina, April to be specific, and it is when I started a new adventure in so many areas of my life. I left behind a place I had made my home and grew in to replant roots, start again and take a chance of what could be possible. I let my own strength and dreams loose to see what could happen. It was a risk for sure and quite scary to be moving so far away with so little guarantees but I did it anyway. The mint in our backyard reminds me of that brave moment I let my own wisdom take hold.
These days I consider South Carolina my home. It is state I’m very fond of and enjoy being in. The thing I enjoy the most about it is the nature. It is diverse and welcoming. It lets me dream and be me, while providing comfort when I need it. There is a sense of community, family and solid good moral values that align with my own. It feels natural. Yet there is a part of my story that is not native here and that was formed somewhere else. I don’t consider them competing but rather just part of my own patchwork quilt that describes me.
I think living naturally means honoring that patchwork and seeing the journey as a personal growth story unfolding a little each season. It is where we can see where we have been and decide where we go next. There is nothing holding us in South Carolina that couldn’t be replanted somewhere else but it has that feeling of home. It is where I can blend the best parts of my past with the budding hope of my future and that of my family. It is where I can grow the life I want and enjoy the passing seasons of winter into spring with a fresh outlook as green as that Kentucky mint growing wild in my South Carolina sandy soil.
Blending our stories into something that gives us those lifelong lessons and memories we can enjoy and help us achieve our dreams is what I have found makes living naturally most rewarding. When I see how possible it is to not pursue dreams but rather to create them little by little taking the parts of what we need from our very own life and nature around us to build the life we want it feels like real life. It is all the things that make life enriching, rewarding and enjoyable even when days are cold and dark.
I have found marking the journey with a vase of Kentucky mint each April to be that reminder to keep dreams alive. It is a vase of hope and a vase of remembrance. When I see it I remember where I’ve been and all the things that happened to bring me to this moment. I also see the chance to look forward in what I want to do next. It is an empowering mark in time that releases hope and dreams instead of holding them back for fear. While I didn’t realize it at the time so many years ago, it was the start of my own true living natural story because I took the chance to listen to my own heart’s desire and took the brave step forward to a new life.
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