We finally planted our garden. It’s been rainy, wet and my schedule has been swamped with events but we finally got it in.
It’s a relief and my place of retreat.
I fence myself in, plant myself on the edge of the raised beds and dig in.
Dave came over while I was planting the last of the tomato plants. “You love gardening, don’t you?”
I simply replied, “Yes! It takes me back to my roots.”
He laughed and said, “I see what you did there!”
But I really wasn’t meaning to plant a play on words, I was simply stating my thought.
One of my earliest memories of my grandparent’s farm is the trail of dust spewing out from our station wagon as we made our way to the house…. the image of Grandma picking strawberries and the combine combing the field.
- walking beans, cutting down corn stalks and pulling those nasty, tough cockleburs out by their roots.
- riding in the air-conditioned cab of the combine while the heat and humidity permeated the farm air.
- sitting on the edge of the retaining wall looking towards town and feeling happy I was on the farm.
I remember my first garden ever. I begged Mom for a spot on the side of the house where nothing really grew. There was a patch of dirt I wanted for my own. We went to Pamida, our local discount store, and purchased marigold seeds. I planted the whole package in my little plot of dirt.
I tended that first garden with care. Removing rocks, pulling small weeds and watering continually. It seemed to never be watered enough. The soil was overly dry, sandy and fine. But I was determined.
My mom had said, “Nothing will grow there!” The patch was under the eaves where rain didn’t land. But I insisted. So she let me plant my investment of 5 cent seeds.
Those flowers never really thrived there. They struggled and stretched for every bit of water they could soak up.
When the next summer came I didn’t plant there again.
My first garden experience failed.
Looking back on it now, even at the age of 8 or 9, I had learned an important lesson:
IT’S OKAY TO FAIL.
I wish my adult self would remember that more often.
Too often we try something once – fail – and then determine we’re not good at it.
But that’s NOT true.
Instead, we must learn to try again. Make adjustments. Ask questions. Gain a better understanding of what didn’t work and try again.
I’m thankful that my first failed garden experience didn’t beat me. Instead, I learned that sometimes it’s not the seed that is faulty but other factors that hindered the seed taking root.
The good seed is within you.
Give yourself and that seed another chance.
My first attempt at gardening had failed but that didn’t mean I was a failure. I just needed to try again.
We need to try again!
Every planting season is a chance to grow. To start again.
It’s a new beginning and another chance at success — Another season to watch flowers bloom, food grow and harvest fruit again.
Planting, digging, tending and reaping— a continual process of growing, learning and observing beautiful things in our lives.
I’m thankful I didn’t give up on the garden concept nor the marigold flower. Digging in the dirt brings me back to my roots. Not every garden is successful, not every plant makes it, but we try again.
To this day, my garden isn’t complete unless marigolds are planted. These days are full of planting, failing, trying again and planting once again.
I would be foolish, if after that first gardening experience, I didn’t learn from my failure and make a change. If I had continued to plant in that same dry place — not change the soil, condition or prepare the ground and nurture it, I should expect failure again.
But that’s the wonder of our God-given brain and reasoning skills. We can make observations. We can evaluate and we can make a change for a better environment for growth.
We have the capacity to change and make better decisions. It’s up to us to make the change.
The summer after my first failed garden, I planted my seeds on the edge of our family’s already plowed, rich soiled garden. I joined with what was already successful in our yard. My marigolds bloomed and added beauty to our family garden.
Funny how in our attempts at learning something we sometimes refuse the advice of the wise. We want to strike out on our own. Make it on our own way… have our own plot of ground instead of joining with others who have already plowed the way. There are times for that, for sure. But let’s not be so stubborn to do it ourselves that we shut off the capacity to learn and join with others. We do a disservice to ourselves if we do it alone.
Don’t give up on those dreams and seeds. Instead, plant again.
Maybe change our soil… maybe our location. Maybe we plant our seeds in the soil of someone else’s garden, join with others and learn from their experience until we gain enough knowledge to build a garden of our own.
This is the secret to gardening and life — In season, plant again. Try something new — nurture and learn. And in it all, don’t give up on the seed within you.
Have a wonderful week,