Saturday, February 27, 2021

Planting Seeds and Waiting ...

Good things come to those who wait. We all know that saying. Do you think it's true? I Googled the phrase to find out who in history actually put the phrase into our vocabularies today. What I found was that, originally, it came from a poem written by Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie, and the phrase was actually "...all things come to those who wait". What Lady Mary Montgomerie Currie wrote is true. All things do come, and, fortunately, sometimes they're good. Hopefully, most times they're good. I think things that are worth waiting for are good. Anyway, through the years, this saying was slightly changed from "all" to "good" by a couple marketing campaigns somewhere in the 1980's and 1990's. I think this is how most of us have learned the saying today. Good things come to those who wait. 

So, do you believe it? Are you a waiter? Not that kind of waiter... Do you have patience? That's the bigger question. I think everybody has some patience. Some people have a little, and some people have a lot, but we all have patience. It's what we do with the amount of patience we have that helps decides who we are and how we navigate our worlds. 

I plant a lot of seeds. I remember the very first time I planted seeds. I was very little, maybe 8 years old. I found a tassel on the end of a stem of a piece of grass. I learned a lot by watching, and put two and two together to realize the tassels held the seeds for the future blades of grass that made my lawn. I realized the tassel had to die back and turn brown to let go of the seeds. So, I hunted the lawn for a brown tassel that still had seeds.

When I found one, I gently broke the tassel off the stem, found a small pot in the garage, and filled the pot with dirt. I then shook the tassel over the dirt, and I watered my little pot of dirt every day. I would come home from school and check on my little pot and water it. Nothing happened for a few days, then one day, I saw a lot of little green bumps coming up from the brown dirt. Oh, I was so happy! It was the most excited feeling, almost magical, almost miraculous, especially for an 8 year old. I grew grass from seeds! Within a week, I had my own mini-lawn in my little pot. I think that's when I caught the bug for growing things. It was exciting, waiting and watching every day, taking great care of my seeds with hopeful anticipation. The payoff was so worth the waiting. I also think this might have been my very first lesson in patience. Good things came because I waited.

It takes a lot of patience to grow things, especially from seed. But, I wouldn't necessarily consider myself a patient person. Maybe I am hopeful, but patient? I don't know. But, I have some patience. Everybody does. I know I've learned how to be more patient by growing things, especially from seed. I've learned how to be more patient by doing a lot of things over the years. Experience fosters patience.

Studies show, a patient person is usually a happier one. Patience truly is a virtue, helping you manage and navigate stressful times in life, or even just the line in the grocery store. I'm fine with standing in line at the grocery store, but stressful times in life... Sometimes, my blood pressure goes up.

I think this is why I enjoy planting seeds. Perhaps, I'm a little bit of an impatient person. So, I plant seeds, and I hopefully wait. Slowly, my seeds begin to grow, and I have the same excited feeling I had when I was 8 all over again. Every time, it's like nature's way of telling me, "Thank you!" or "Way to go!" I'm growing my patience while I grow my garden. I'm learning lessons from Mother Earth, the most patient keeper of all things alive. Who better to teach me? I'm happy in my garden, in its very slow way of life. It's calming and helps me practice being patient, growing my patience without me knowing it so that when I have a stressful moment in life outside my garden, I may be able to calmly handle it.

Patience requires waiting. That's the hard part. It's the waiting that makes people believe they don't have patience. Waiting for anything can make someone impatient, unless it is something worth waiting for. Truthfully, if you have to wait, it probably is worth waiting for, whatever it is. It's probably very good. Good things come to those who wait. Remember?

You can think of waiting as the nutrition your patience needs to grow. It's like water to a seed. Water is what makes the seed come alive. Waiting feeds your seed of patience, causing it to grow. In time, you have become a person with a lot of patience. Like the tiny seed of a redwood tree, with time and many rainstorms, it is the biggest tree in the world! Can you imagine having as much patience as a giant redwood is tall? It could happen. No wonder Mother Earth is the best teacher of patience. Just look at those redwoods. They took a long time to get that big and beautiful. That wait sure was worth it, and Mother Earth knows it.

If you have just a seed of patience, you can grow it. When you are growing a garden starting with seeds, you water and wait. In time, your seeds come alive and poke their heads from the ground, and good things come. The waiting is worth it. It always is. Good things come to those who wait. Be patient, and you will see this for yourself. And, if you're not so sure, I can loan you some seeds. Sunflowers are a good place to start! 

Thursday, February 18, 2021

Time Will Tell ...

It’s been a long time since my last blog post. I’ve been feeling a little guilty about it. But, only for a little while. I decided that I would write a new blog when the time was right.

Part of the reason for the length of time in between blog posts was the fact that I wasn’t sure what I would write about. I sincerely don’t want this blog to be an open journal into my life. Nobody wants to read about my life when they’re busy living theirs.

So, I grappled with this “what should I write about” problem. I enjoy writing very much. It's an outlet for me, but I really need a subject to write about. I need a focus. The longer I grappled with my problem, the more time separated this blog post from the last.

Then, almost like being slapped in the face, I realized what I should write about. Time! Perhaps I needed to have Time go by in order to know just what I should write about!

What is it about Time? Time can be our friend or our foe. It's a loyal companion with any task, that's for sure. We are not given an abundance of it, but we sure think there's way too much of it when we're stuck doing something we'd rather not do. I think, for the most part, Time is my friend. I try to make the most of it, being in the present, enjoying each minute, even the ones that seem to last a lifetime. I suppose Time can be a bit of a magician. Time magically changes with each passing moment of our lives. Some good, some not so good. But, none of the moments last. Time makes sure to march on. There's another moment right after the last, and Time spares no one. 

We’re a species entangled in Time. We have a love-hate relationship with Time, so much so, many of our everyday phrases are related to Time. “Time waits for no one”, “You’re ahead of your Time”, “I had the devil of a Time”, “It’s a race against Time”, “Have the Time of your life”, “Did I catch you at a bad Time?”, “It will happen, all in good Time”. There’s so many. Time is part of us, part of who we are. We don’t have a choice. So, it’s good to embrace the moments and the minutes of your day. It’s good to see the changes Time brings.

For me, it's in nature where I see Time working its magic most. I am amazed by what happens to a tiny seed, given enough Time. You can take a tiny seed, say, a tomato seed, something so small, it could easily be blown away by a breeze if you're not careful. You put it into the ground, just a half inch into the earth, and in a matter of Time, that seed sprouts the beginning of a tomato plant. 

Depending on the type of tomato seed planted, the tiny seed will continue to grow every minute of every day and then bear fruit in a matter of just 40 to 80 days. This is Time working its magic. It's a gift of Time, this beautiful tomato, a tangible gift of Time.

I marvel at this whenever I plant a seed. I watch excitedly for the first green shoots to come up from beneath the dirt, Time proving its magic with the seed buried below. Then, I carefully baby-sit the plant until it can eventually take care of itself.

But, does it ever take care of itself? No, not really. It still takes Time to nurture the plant, to provide water and to be sure it's getting enough sunlight. It takes Time to encourage the plant to bear fruit. What did The Little Prince say about his rose? "It's the time that you spend on your rose that makes your rose so important..." It's the Time spent. That's the magic. 

Time is our friend. Time is our ally. Albert Einstein had such a brain for Time, we all know that. I don't want to write something profound about Time, or enter any type of Time arena with scientists. 
But, what I would like to touch on is how, after enough Time, things always work out. I'm a firm believer in the, "Just give it Time" type of philosophy. I guess what I'm trying to say, what I've sorta noticed in between this blog post and the last, is that, in Time, I figured it out. I figured out what to write. Sure, maybe it's silly that I wrote about Time, but I needed the Time to understand how I can go about writing each future blog post. I just need a subject to focus on. This time, it was Time. Next time... Well, I guess Time will tell!

When Life Gives You Lemons ...