This morning I looked out my kitchen window at our vegetable garden boxes, all 15 of them, all 320 square feet. I began to think it would have been nice to enjoy a warmer weekend in which to plant. It would have been nice to say that I planted Spinach on the first day of Spring, and then began to enjoy that harvest come late April. However, this cool weather and sprinklings of snow (still!) put those great thoughts to rest.
I then turned toward positive thoughts. How the garden, now, is no big deal to me. How all the learning accumulated means I know what seeds thrive in our soil. I know when to plant those seeds. I know how to encourage those seeds to grow. I know what to do with the vegetables when we harvest them. No longer is gardening something I want to know how to do, but it is simply something I do. I am in wonder that gardening is now instinctual to me.
The unknown of gardening used to scare me. I read so many books, blog posts. Asked so many questions of my husband. Made so many to do lists. Now, I know. The soil is there. The seeds are ready to be planted. I have only so much responsibility. Really, the work of growing is out of my control. All I can do is prepare healthy soil, plant a seed and trust that the right amount of sunlight and moisture will produce a grand result. The work of growing the garden really isn't mine, is it?
I take on so much responsibility. In so many instances I think that the factor of "me" matters so much to the outcome; of situations, experiences, peoples lives/choices. A grand truth that has finally taken root in the past few years is that, really, I'm only responsible for myself. It's nice to think that I might be of good influence, but that might be a bit of pride too.
My children? They are like that soil. They are here. They are ready to be planted with ideas, truths, experiences, relationships. As the parent I get to cast the seeds of ideas, truths, experiences, relationships. My responsibility is to cast great seeds that are ready to grow. The children get to nourish those seeds into beautiful growth; that is their responsibility. And really, that is the relief. I'm not in charge of what they do with the resources I give them. The soil of the garden takes the seeds and produces from it that which is given. The same with what I give my children.
It might just be that as I get older I don't have as much energy to worry over the outcome; or maybe it's that I realize as I get older that energy is at a premium and I shouldn't expend it on worry! I'd rather give it to exploring new ideas, activities, books (many, many books). In all our time gardening over these ten years I can't remember but a few plants that didn't thrive. Healthy soil + healthy seeds = abundant garden. Easy.