Finding your Marigold and avoiding the Walnut trees

Familiar to experienced gardeners, perhaps those who have an interest in vegetables particularly, is a concept called companion planting. Companion planting involves placing certain vegetables and plants near each other to improve growth for one or both plants. By way of example, rose propagators might plant garlic near rose bushes because garlic repels bugs and prevents certain fungal diseases. A favourite amongst companion plants is the Marigold. This cheerful and happy plant protects a wide variety of plants from pests and weeds that may be harmful or restrict growth. On planting a Marigold beside almost any garden vegetable, that vegetable has its best chance of growing strong and healthy because the Marigold will protect it.
Find your Marigold – you are planted close to one, for sure. Be a Marigold to others. Stay close to them. Find more than one Marigold to thrive.

Marigolds exist in our communities too. They exist in any school in the form of teachers, therapists, administrators, children, young leaders and parents. Our ‘Marigolds’ in life are people who encourage, congratulate, support and nurture others in the community. Find your Marigold – you are planted close to one, for sure. Be a Marigold to others. Stay close to them. Find more than one Marigold to thrive.
Once you have identified your Marigolds, make an effort to spend time with them. Having a hard time of this parenthood journey? Go to your Marigolds. Overwhelmed about the responsibility bestowed on you to raise your child? Go to your Marigolds. Feeling anxious? Go to your Marigolds. Make the choice and make the effort. It’s worth the trouble, the time, and the initial introductions.
Your Marigolds will help you move from being a ‘worrier’ parent and gird you up to be your child’s warrior.

Whilst on gardening, there is a simultaneous caution. While you seek your Marigolds, you need to take care to avoid Walnut trees. Ask a successful gardener and he or she may tell you that Walnut trees give off a toxic substance that may inhibit plant growth and, eventually, kill off nearby vegetation. Walnut trees can be as abundant as Marigolds in certain communities including schools. They may not look dangerous at first but their take on the school and its systems, on others, and even on their own child, is likely negative. In a few interactions with a Walnut tree, you will feel discouraged, over-whelmed, insecure or doubtful. Avoid these trees if you can, but remember that if you meet them, their toxicity may come from a place of real pain. Their complaints may even be based on reality. Raising a child, moreover a child who has unique needs, is hard job. It is like climbing a mountain not yet chartered and it can crush at worst or fester as cynicism at best. Keep your guard up but show compassion to the Walnut trees that you meet. Be their Marigold.