Notes from an impatient gardener
As a gardener ‘I’m a close planter”. That doesn’t sound like such a bad thing, but it really makes for extra work, and makes me a really impatient gardener.
I feel so restless when nothing is happening in winter, that when spring happens, I am ready with the gnashing of teeth to make everything happen all at once. Instead of waiting to see what grows,comes back, and fills in,I quickly run to the garden center and buy all of these pretty plants, and plop them in the ground, itching for a pop of color. While it really looks pretty awesome in the beginning, sometime toward the middle of summer, I notice all of the plants I bought, plus the ones from last year, slowly crowding each other out as they grow into each others space.
It really only leaves me the option to keep them where they are, and taking the chance one plant might hurt the other, or take the extra time I didn’t really have in the first place to carefully shuffle them around, so they all have the best chance. Unfortunately it means one or two plants might not get put in the best place, or might struggle in their new post, unhappy to be transplanted until it slowly dies a wilting death.
I find I do the same thing in my every day life. When nothing is going on, I race to fill the emptiness, thinking something us very wrong if nothing important is happening. Not waiting to see what comes above the surface, I hurriedly try to fill in all of the emptiness with lots of things that make me feel important and… busy. Unfortunately, I am suddenly left feeling overwhelmed,rushed and stressed,trying to shuffle things around.Instead of plants, my daily activities and relationships so I can juggle them all, giving some of them not the best of opportunity to flourish.
What is it about human nature that makes us uncomfortable when we see cracks and empty spaces? Why do we seem to have a need to fill every moment instead if enjoying the imperfection of that solitary time. Why do we judge success or importance on how busy we seem? Why do busy people seem like they have more? When They actually have less… time,quality and peace of mind.
I think it’s all in recognizing that allowing something to grow is really important, and that many times there is lot going on under the surface that we don’t see. We have to give to space to breathe and ourselves to emerge with it. It’s easier to set something firm in a place it’s supposed to be the first time, and let the roots really take hold,than as an impatient gardener to transplant it later,try in vain to keep it alive and hope it will take and not die.
I am trying to learn that lesson every day in my own restless and broken nature, but I know I must be patient with myself as well to let that part of me grow and bloom. In the mean time, you can find me out back, relocating the Hosta.
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What a gorgeous job you did on the walkway, Jennifer! Love it!
I have to agree with your analogy on wanting something to fill in the empty spaces in so many situations. I felt that way when my last child left home. I was a whirlwind of activity until the point where I was worn out.
Planning a garden takes a lot of thinking and setting goals. I also spend a few weeks preparing where I’ll plant things and doing the dirty work. Then I can buy and plant all those beautiful flowers. In life maybe we have to give ourselves just a bit of a rest and some self searching before we plunge into something new. Those cracks will fill in at their own pace. 😀
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