One Little Word – Evolve

download.jpgMy little word for last year was developing – it is a word that I thought I would hold onto this year. It seems to fit into my on going thinking.  I wrote about it at the beginning of December (you can read about it here).

Today as I return to thinking about this I feel if I keep this word I am standing still. The word developing is about action so I have gone seeking another word that might help hold this idea of moving forward and push myself into the new year. The need to have new goals around growing skills and understanding is important to me.

The thesaurus gave me these words  – advance, establish, evolve, expand, flourish, grow, progress, promote, age, foster, mature, mellow, ripen, grow-up and root.  Some of these words don’t make it at all – like the word root seems to mean holding still, to be fixed in place or rooted.  Not at all what I was thinking. Establish also seems to be a word for standing in place – a fixed and establish way of thinking.

Of all these words I find advance or evolve to be closer to what I was imagining. The idea of continuing to learn, to expand ones knowledge, to promote growth is more what I had in mind. I want to grab hold of the idea of continued growth – the life long learner. I want to take the skills I have and hone them into a well learned craft or skill.

It might be that at some point those skills can be shared with others but for now I am happy to put myself on the path of learning and maybe to share some of those early  steps along the way.

Questions I wish to explore are:

  • What does it take to be a good urban gardener? Flowers and veggies for the family
  • Can I learn the names ( common and latin), and habits of the flora and fauna around me? Can you names trees by their bark and branch patterns? No – nor can I but I would like to be able to do just that – to know the natural world so intimately that those names roll off my tongue like family members names.  3751e4f34731618878f1fd3346e96e85.jpg
  • Can I learn to draw what I see? Can I develop my drawing to the point others are able to recognize what is growing my gardens? (Botanical drawing)
  • Can I maintain a healthy lifestyle without loading my body with medicine? (Can you hear in this statement I am working to control my cholesterol levels without drugs that have not so good side effects for me?)  – healthy eating, exercise, restoration – yoga, calming mediation and friendships

All of these are areas I have begun working on in the last few years – developing my skills and understanding in more detail since retiring from teaching. These are skills and learning that can fill a life time. So once again as the new year begins I embark on the every evolving journey into the world of green plants, fresh air, good and healthy food, words and pictures that I can share with dear friends near and far.

The one little word for this year that involves so much learning will be evolve. For indeed over the last year of developing I have found I am evolving into a new and different person. One who is more relaxed, more confident in what I know and don’t know and more ready to step into the role of a beginning learner once again.


About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, help in schools and write. Life is good!
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4 Responses to One Little Word – Evolve

  1. Loralee says:

    I enjoyed reading your slice. Beautiful reflections. Sounds like a wonderful year ahead!

  2. I love the idea of stepping into the role of a beginning learner again. We all need to do that if we’re teachers, as it’s where our students constantly are, and it’s NOT always comfortable! Enjoy your word and the focus it brings you throughout 2018.

  3. Reflective slice! I love that you turned to your thesaurus for guidance on how to propel forward versus staying stagnant, yet upholding the essence of your mission. Evolve sounds like a perfect choice. Cheers!

  4. bevbaird says:

    Wonderful word – especially as you grow and evolve as a gardener. Happy New Year!

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