I’m no gardener. I’m from the city. “Gardening” when I grew up consisted of watering my grandmother’s plants – indoors. So when I moved away from the city and bought my first home, I tried my hand at gardening. A few cucumbers and melons later, I thought I was an expert. Each year the ground had to be tilled. Sometimes I’d add some fresh top soil. I’d go buy whatever seeds my heart desired, plant, water and keep an eye on my garden. Each year…
Fast forward a few years. New state, new house. I decided to try my hand at container gardening. Just flowers and pretty green leaves, but a lot simpler. I did minimal research, bought some big pots and dumped soil and seeds in to them. My mini garden bloomed and was good for a season (too much sun I think), but faded quickly.
I haven’t done anything with it so far this year, except to pull the weeds that started to take over my soil. I haven’t had the time and just haven’t been focused on it. But the other day, this pretty little flower popped up. I was shocked. I wasn’t working on it. I wasn’t expecting it. I wasn’t focused on it. But something I planted over a year ago apparently still had roots. And with a little rain water and some mindless weeding, it found the strength to come up and bloom.
Here’s where I kind of started to kick myself, but also found some motivation. What if I had been just a bit more focused on what I started? What if I’d researched enough to know what a perennial plant is so I’d be prepared to help it back to life with a little more water, a little more care. What if I’d added a couple more seeds to it? What might it have looked like? Would I have more blooms? How beautiful could I have made it?
How often do we start a project, work on it for a season, and then abandon it? Our work, our writing, our self-improvement, books? How often is there a seed that will bloom, just a little bit, even when we ignore it, but that would have flourished if we’d only kept at it? It can be a sobering thought.
At the same time, I find hope. It’s only April. It’s not too late. I can still get to the garden center at the store, still do some research, get some fertilizer and help this little bloom along. Before the end of the summer, if I make an effort, I can probably have a magazine-worthy container garden. But the onus lies on me. Not the lady at the garden center. Not the struggling little bloom. Me.
Now, certainly, I could continue to ignore my container garden this year. I could cross my fingers and hope that something else struggles its way to the surface. I could continue to depend on the weather for enough rain to make a difference. But that won’t yield much. And that would be a waste of the work I did last year. Because I know those blooms won’t keep returning forever. I know that not every seed can struggle to the top again and again with no care. Most of all, I know I can do better. I know that when I try, I get good results (sometimes even great results). It’s about intention and effort.
Pick up something today that you started a while ago. Find some new motivation for a project you’ve ignored. Give it your best effort and see what results you get. And definitely let me know about it.
Go Be Blessed!