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Finding TRUE LOVE in "The Garden": Article

by Terez "Firewoman" Hartmann Beautiful, wild, and free

“Wild thing! You make my heart sing!”

Each of us, in some form or fashion, is a wild being; a being who came into this world to follow the sun and seek warmth & light; a being who would go to the places that nourish it and that appeal to its unique sense of beauty; a being who would only continue to connect and interact with other beings who feel warm and inviting and/or beings who are open to the opportunity of creating something new and expansive together.

Wild things do not knowingly or intentionally go to places where there is (and never would be) nourishment or where they would meet certain death or systematic destruction of their health and life force: Yet rather than continue to follow their natural rhythms and guidance, many humans will indeed throw water on their inner fire and dismantle their vibrant selves, dreams, and lives in the name of “love” and ask others to do the same for them.

When you’ve seen unhelpful, unfulfilling, or even harmful relationship patterns play out time and time again in the lives of others or yourself, what’s a wild thing looking for true love to do?

Many humans choose the path of “domestication,” trading their core desires or authentic selves in favor of being in a relationship of ANY kind. Others look around and surmise that there are no other wild things that will ever “get them” and resolve to live alone rather than give up their freedom and wild nature.

But what if you actually CAN retain the beautiful, wild, free being you AND they are while sharing in magnificent, life-enhancing adventures in your trips around the sun, together?

Consider a trip to “The Garden:”

Every wild thing has a sanctuary/reserve/preserve that is “The Garden” of your life.

In The Garden, you have a wonderful variety of trees, flowers and butterflies that enhance the terrain and provide diversity, texture, color, and beauty; each a powerful element of your experience of life and love. And when you understand the roles and appreciate the beauty of each of these three key elements, love can and will find YOU!

1. Trees Trees are the anchors and fixtures in your garden. With each passing year, they reach upward and outward, and depending on the type of tree, many grow very deep roots that also expand to support their above-ground growth. Even with changing seasons, falling leaves, and coming or going of flowers or fruit, the trees continue to stand steadfast; solidly and happily rooted in your garden for you to enjoy.

Many mature trees are self-sustaining, drawing from sunlight, rain, and the nutrients in the soil and thrive when they are simply allowed to do what they do. Some are already in our garden, waiting for us when we arrive, others are planted by cooperative friends, others come to fruition when we feel the spark and homecoming of love. The best news of all? In the garden of your heart, trees are infinite beings that, once planted, continue evermore.

Your job: Allow your trees ample space to grow, hug them as inspired, and appreciate the multitude of gifts they provide (shade, birds, flowers, fruit, beauty, etc.).

Trees represent the unconditional love/true love that is long-standing and eternal in your life.


2. Flowers Flowers are the seasonal stars of your garden, creating wonderful, changing works of art throughout the year. Whether annuals or perennials, each flower blooms at its ideal time, stays for a while, then clears the path for the next flower. Flowers come and go, but are glad to bloom for you and inspire a smile.

Flowers thrive best when grown in their proper zone, in a place that has the amount of light they desire, and where they can receive the proper amount of water.

Your job: Create the space for their success by planting them wisely, water/prune/care for them as needed, and throw in a few “oohs” and “ahs” as they show off for you! Flowers represent the blossoming of YOU and the dynamic, ever-evolving expression of your wild, beautiful being.


3. Butterflies

Butterflies add movement and are glorious bonuses, upgrades, and happy surprises that take your garden to the next level. Some will waft in for a mere moment, others will linger for a time, visiting many flowers, and some will even gladly visit your garden every day of their lives, but ALL visit as inspired. Though there is no real way to predict their flight path or when they will enter or depart from your garden, if you nurture and nourish your trees and flowers, you create the space for an ongoing butterfly fiesta and never lack for these amazing creatures!

Butterflies are fully autonomous & self-sustaining, and naturally seek out their favorite food and sources of fresh water. Their ability to fly is essential for their survival.

Your job: Tend to your garden, fill it with lots of healthy flowers, keep the waters of your life force flowing, then savor, enjoy, and appreciate the butterflies while they are there.

Butterflies represent the humans (wild things just like YOU) who add joy, beauty, and expansion to your life.

Creating a thriving garden

Some part of me (and I would dare say, you) has always known that I, too, am a butterfly. I have always thrived and had a natural sense of loyalty to other wild things when I’ve been allowed to be ME. Though I do appreciate the idea of another being wanting me to stay in their garden perpetually because they enjoy something about me, I have never enjoyed feeling trapped or having my flight path limited – and I have to dually acknowledge that every time I (unknowingly or unwittingly) demanded that another butterfly stay only in my garden, those relationships suffered or ultimately broke down.

It has taken much trial and error with many powerful teachers along my path to find my way to The Garden, but I can honestly say that I would not be in a 22+ year friendship/20-year-long happy, fulfilling, magical, (and, yes, monogamous) marriage or have friendships spanning decades had I not loved, respected, and celebrated the wild, butterfly nature of the people who truly matter in my life.

I have, indeed, had to say goodbye to many people who were once a more prominent part of my life garden, but I do know that the love we shared, no matter how brief, caused a tree to grow somewhere, which then dropped seedlings that ultimately germinated into the strong, magnificent trees that have (and are yet to) become long-standing parts of my life.

The Bottom Line: Finding True Love In The Garden

While there can be many dimensions and layers to how, why and who we love, or to what truly defines an “ideal” romantic, family, or friend relationship, one thing is certain: When people are allowed to be the authentic, butterfly they are AND they are given room to be beautiful, wild and free, EVERYONE benefits.

Like many, I have spent far too long trying to be the butterfly that makes everyone else happy, and at times, have lingered far too long in gardens that have ultimately been hazardous to my health, simply because they belonged to people with pre-assigned roles or that have held personal historic significance for me. But I have come to find that when I visit the gardens of the ones who truly welcome me, I am more than happy to be a regular visitor and a catalyst for the existence of ever more beautiful flowers and trees in the garden of THEIR lives.

Whatever path you choose, dear butterfly, it is my sincere desire that you too allow yourself the joy of finding true love in The Garden; for I believe love will always come, flowers will always bloom, and trees will always grow for the wild things who remember that we ALL have wings :). This article originally appeared in the March 2022 edition of Transformation Coaching Magazine. For additional uplifting articles by many inspiring contributors, visit:

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