"Watch a plant for 5 minutes, 15 minutes, half an hour, and you won't see any change. But come back the next day, and there's new growth. There's always something happening, even when you can't see it."
"Focus on the good, focus on the positive changes, not the setbacks."
"Remember how long you have been training yourself to do things the way you currently do them. It may take at least as long to untrain yourself; to train yourself to do it a different way. Change will take time. Be patient with yourself."
It's been almost a year since my shaman said those words to me. I repeat them to myself often. I write them down over and over in my journal. And I still struggle to remember...
I just recently lamented, "It's been a year, and nothing's changed!" Staring setbacks in the face seems to be my specialty these days.
But I bring this up now, because Spring has settled in and set up camp here in the mountains of Santa Barbara. All she has left to do is wait for Summer to arrive.
And so the next season of my journey has begun. I'm planting a garden: sowing seeds, digging in the earth, feelings running through me, just as dirt runs through my fingers.
Gardening has always been a grounding experience (I guess the metaphor's pretty obvious!) for me. But it's always been my own thing. I drive myself to the nursery, pick out the plants, seeds, soil. Bring them home in the back of my Explorer. Set everything up, dig up the soil, set the plants into their new homes, and care for them all summer.
But this year is different. This is the first vegetable garden for both of us, in the past I've always stuck to a flower and herb garden. Just something to do in my free time, and I've mentioned my ongoing interest in making things look pretty, right?
This is the first time I've ever tried to make a garden make sense financially. We're trying to actually save money constantly spent on fresh, organic vegetables, and I've never been very interested in crunching numbers. Leave it to the promise of a garden full of nature's bounty to bring out the "Mathlete" in me!
This is the first time I've ever had to plan a garden with someone else. Every decision must be mutual, because it's our time, our money, our effort. It's a big lesson in working together, which is hard work for both of us. And all of my patience seems lacking as eagerly await to get my hands dirty with a project, happy to put off the hard stuff for another day. Let's buy the vegetables and plant them! We'll figure it out as we go, right?
So it seems I have much to learn from the vegetable garden this year. I will continue my lessons in Letting Go and Accepting Help from Others, all while taking an advanced course in Compromise and the Science of Mutual Decision-Making. And I'm really digging into it. Sinking my fingers in, sifting through the lessons, sowing the seeds, anxious (but willing to be patient) to unearth the gifts that are sure to emerge from the combined efforts of myself and the universe.