In Biography, Musing, Poem

How I Came to My Soul Garden

There was a time

when life was easy.

There was a time

I didn’t worry


second guess.

There was a time,

I wrapped myself

in the Shawl of Certainty.


I shunned Regret

for years,

ignoring his requests,

not taking his calls.

But still,

he broke into my home, a stalker

hiding in the attic,

a stowaway creating unease

when I thought I was alone.


He made room for Doubt.

Undermined the safe space

I was so sure I was creating.

Doubt moved in,

an undesired roommate.

His gaslighting denials

that of course I needed him

and it was my idea to bring Regret out of the attic.

It was cruel of me to leave him there,



As a strong woman,

I believed I was above their trickery.

I thought that being strong

meant being safe.

I thought being smart was enough.

I thought it meant I could pick the outcome.


Regret and Doubt sat on my couch

eating chips and drinking beer.

They barked orders of what-might-have-been

and what-I’ll-never-deserve.

At first

I laughed,

like all women learn to.

I laughed as I asked them to leave.

But they stayed.

I called the authorities,

but still they stayed.

I listened,

tried to understand their POV,

to create a win-win solution,

but still they stayed.

With every failed attempt,

Doubt won.

With every failed strategy,

Regret’s smile grew larger.


And still they stayed.

They got bigger,


more slothful


until I thought I would suffocate under their weight.


Still they stayed.

And so I left.

I found a patch of ground,

empty and forgotten

and I began to build.

I left Doubt and Regret in the big house,

with their chips and their beer and each other.

I planted one seed

laid one brick

sang one song

and my new space started to form.

I felt the old seed in me awaken,

aflame with wisdom’s purpose.

This seed became a garden of many gardens.

Stretching from the seaside to the mountains,

desert to Japan,

rocks and moss

to bougainvillea and mojitos.

In some gardens I gather.

In some gardens I prune.

In some I create

and in some I store.

Doubt and Regret drop by to visit sometimes.

I give them a beer and send them home




I stand barefoot,

plugged in to the grass,

arms stretched to the stars

and love as far as I can feel.

This is my garden,

this is my soul.

I flourish here.



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Showing 5 comments
  • Stephanie

    This is exquisitely beautiful and poignant. I see into your soul and it’s wonderful. Thank you for sharing this with the world.

    • Mary Aitoshi

      My pleasure. Thank you!

  • Chris Chandler

    Beautiful, Mary.

    • Mary Aitoshi

      Thanks! Stay tuned for a reading!

  • Betsy

    Absolutely beautiful!! Please keep writing,, you touched my heart ,,, thank you for sharing yours!!!

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