OLG: The Old Lady Gardner #15 What does this make possible?

The day opened to a bright sun, mild temperatures for October and leaves falling from every tree. The world was splashed with color and all seems wonderful. Then we look closer and we saw the crisp look is really the dying leaves – yes because if is fall but too crispy because of the lack of water. As I continue to clear the garden beds of wilted tomatoes and peppers I see their roots have only run along the surface of the soil. They did not dig deep for there was no water there. They remained on the surface to catch any amount of water that I gave them each day through the long hot summer days. They were growing. They look great on the surface but their fruits were not ripening well and it was clear they were struggling. I saw the signs but did not give them what was needed.

In life we sometime fine ourselves doing the same thing. We help ourselves or friends or loved ones along and everything looks great until it is not. An early morning call for help and support from a loved one this last week told me that the same pattern in my garden was also happening in our lives. We saw the signs but also the world looking good, moving forward but we quietly were aware of a struggle. The struggle surfaced and an accident resulted. People are ok physically (mostly) but emotionally they/we are in turmoil.

A lesson learned once again – see something:do something. All summer I was aware of both the garden struggle and the personal struggle and keep assuring myself all was well.

Facing the steps to make major changes is hard. We like to sit in the current situation even if it is not working. It is easier. We tell our selves I did this or I said this or it is not that bad. Yet it is!

There is some hard but glorious work a head both in the garden and in my personal life to support the changes needed to bring things around to more fertile ground. In this work I have found the question my husband uses all the time to be very helpful.

“What does this make possible?”

Yep – everything is a mess and it is super uncomfortable but when chaos arrives and everything gets turned upside down the road is often times cleared to make major changes to the system. So over the next few weeks and months we will use this upheaval to ask over and over again –

What does this make possible?

How can we change? What new ways of working need to happen? Who do we need to help us change and sustain that change over the long term? How do we get back – no – how do we move forward to more fertile and healthy ground?

Like my garden life is messy and never perfect. There are always things that need changing and tweaking. It is our job to watch for the struggles, listen when we see the hints of unrest in our friends and family and in my garden family as well. Then we need to take action. Knowing that somethings things need to fall apart so they can get better.

About Joanne Toft

I am a retired Minneapolis Public School teacher. I walk, garden, care for my Grandson and write. Life is good!
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2 Responses to OLG: The Old Lady Gardner #15 What does this make possible?

  1. Lainie Levin says:

    Joanne, this post is so rich with metaphor and meaning. “In life we sometime fine ourselves doing the same thing. We help ourselves or friends or loved ones along and everything looks great until it is not.”

    Ohhhh, I feel this on such a deep level. There is so much to do – so much we CAN do, so much we feel COMPELLED to do – that it’s hard to remember self-nourishment as well.

    And your comments about life being messy, imperfect, in need of constant change and improvement and nurturing and care…YES. You nailed it!

  2. First, I love the name!! I’m an old gardener, and if I’m using your acronym, I’m an OMG, an Old Man Gardener! That’s what I’m referring to myself as from here on out!

    Silliness aside, there’s SO MUCH to take in on this slice! From the tomatoes not going deep with their roots because of a lack of water (mine did the same) to how you relate it back to personal things going on, this is just the slice we needed.

    >Knowing that somethings things need to fall apart so they can get better.<

    I loved this line. It just spoke to me on so many levels.

    Thank you for sharing your slice with us! 🙂

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