Lessons From the Flower Pot
Today (yesterday, I suppose, it’ll be after midnight by the time I get this post finished) was a rough day. I can’t even really say why. It was warm enough that I’ve still got a window open and the furnace turned off, the dogs have been behaving, and frankly, I’ve done everything right. Today should have been a good day, it just didn’t turn out that way.
I discovered something today (er, yesterday) that should have put me over the moon.
A while back, I made the mistake of wandering through the garden section at Wal-Mart, and was dreaming over the seeds and bulbs and gardening tools. I found some lily of the valley rhizomes; five in a pack for white, two in a pack for pink, and, despite my bad luck with growing bulbs from Wallyworld in the past, I bought some. Pink–because I’ve never seen pink lily of the valley, and the pot that I put them in isn’t big enough for five rhizomes.
This was about the time that I sowed the clover for the first time, and I’ve been sure to keep the lilies in a place where they won’t be affected by frost. I haven’t really thought much about them, but I have watered them when I’ve watered my clover and the blueberry bush. Today (er, yesterday), I noticed a couple of teeny tiny sprouts pushing their way out of the dirt. Right now, if I didn’t know they were lily of the valley, I’d just be able to identify them as a bulb plant, but not the species. Again, I’m putting a lot of faith in myself that I’ll be able to keep these baby plants alive until adulthood, and on through next year.
I was thinking about my little patio garden, and how incongruous gardening is in this modern world. My lilies, for example. They’ve probably been growing since the day I planted them, but I couldn’t see it happening, so I assumed it wasn’t.
I thought about how things happen below the surface. We live in a world of progress bars and instant gratification. It would be nice if plants came with such things, but, unfortunately, we have to take it on faith that, for instance, the Wal-Mart plants will grow and thrive.
Because I do stuff like this I compared it to my own life. Just because I can’t see progress in the things I have no control over, doesn’t mean that progress hasn’t been made. Roots need to get established before a plant pokes its head out of the ground. They need strength before they face the world of heat and cold and dog pee.
It’s hard for me to remember that life very rarely (okay, practically never) runs on the timeline that I would like. Patience has never been one of my strong suites, and has been one of the constant lessons in my life.
Of course, I realize this analogy completely falls apart if I don’t manage to grow my lilies into adulthood…