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Veronica Varlow
  -  Magic Monday   -  Magic Spring Cleaning: The Day I Battled BrambleTown

I call it BrambleTown.

It used to be my garden….

but then the fire happened.

Almost two years ago, fire trucks roared up our curvy mountain driveway and part of the old stone wall collapsed into the garden.

Almost two years ago, the roof of our home was ripped open by fire, making the chimney topple, as broken bricks and debris rained down into the garden.

Almost two years ago, machines moved dirt over what was left of our home’s foundation, and they rolled the blackened tree trunks down the hill and into the garden.

And as a result, for the last two years…

I’ve completely ignored the garden.

The brambles, however, have not.

Last Summer, I ventured down into the garden to clean it up.  Against the old stone wall was a chunk of burned wood with a hint of the mint paint on it from our cottage.  It did something to me, it brought me back to the badness.  It made me think of the loss.

I went to get it anyway, but brambles attached themselves to my clothes on the way to it.  They stuck their prickly thorns into the cloth and my skin, holding me back.

They won.  I turned my back on the garden and let the brambles grow bigger and thicker for another year.

Until yesterday.

I pulled out the shears, put on the thick gloves, armed myself with my hoodie, long pants and boots and went for it.

Oh, they tried.  They tried…they bit through my clothes leaving bloody scratches all over my skin.  But I was going to take this shit back now.

Something happened as I was furiously cutting, batting and carrying them away to the burn pile, I felt a lightness.

It was a clearing in more ways then one.

This sadness and destruction that hung over the mountain for the last two years was being lifted.

The sun moved in and hit the patches of grass that it hadn’t seen in years.  And like the faerie tale of Sleeping Beauty, something in this sleeping garden, covered in brambles for years, just suddenly woke up.


My dear friends saw me down there once I had cut a trail.  They helped me cart away brambles that were too big for me to take alone, and helped me move large rocks that  spilled over from the broken wall and the large pieces of tree trunk that smashed down into the garden.

And under the rocks, these little guys appeared.  Daffodil blooms that were strong enough to make it covered under rocks for the past two years and who are more than ready to bloom this year.


As it turns out, one of the people who came and helped, just so happens to make a living as a professional gardener and landscaper.  She had a ton of tips for me to revive the garden and offered to bring plants and trees.

The magic that happens when you set off to do a daunting task and somehow, the right people are put into your path. 

The more that was cleared, the more I felt the remnants of the old, sad energy leaving.  The rocks started to get re-adjusted back onto the old wall, the daffodils were given room to grow, the little altars were dug out and cleaned.

I am ready for the new life of Spring to come flooding into the garden.

So I ask you……

What is your version of BrambleTown?  What are you physically holding onto that would help you to let go off?

Have you kept letters or memories from old boyfriends or girlfriends that really got your down?  Maybe it’s time to throw them away.  Got a pile of old clothing that doesn’t fit you right or just isn’t you anymore?  Maybe it’s time to donate them and clear closet room.  Got a desk filled with cluttered drawers of broken office supplies and pens that ran out of ink?  Maybe it’s time or organize and throw things away.

On this Magic Monday, may we all clear the things that don’t work anymore to make room for the gorgeous new things that await us.

Signing off from the ghost of BrambleTown – covered in scratches,





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