Our radishes started out so promising this year.
There’s no sign of them now.
Five years ago on my main blog (Last American Childhood), I wrote these Lessons from Seeds.
- Take your time.
- There’s a lot of potential stored up inside you.
- You’ll have a better chance of growing if you separate yourself from the pack.
- Protect yourself.
- Don’t be afraid to travel far from home, but once you land, make the best of where you are.
- Put down roots.
- Drink water everyday.
- No matter what happens in life, ask yourself, “Am I growing?” That is the one essential thing.
- Use whatever resources you have on hand.
- Head toward the light.
As I begin this blog, the second official week, I wonder which of these lessons I’ve managed to learn, even a little bit.
Number three about separating yourself from the pack jumps out at me as I struggle and kvetch and circle around social media unproductively, sometimes participating, often criticizing, unsure if I can stay in “the” conversation or any conversation without it, then wondering if that kind of bite-size, fleeting, uncomfortably public conversation is I one I want to have. I stormed off Facebook, returned five years later, (just recently), can’t decide whether I should post these posts there and Twitter, or let them simply live here and hope others will find them.
I don’t know. But in this is space I’ve allowed myself not to know. Am I growing? Yes. Can I take my time? I find that hard. But the task is a post for today. In mindfulness training, today—right now—is everything. But today is a single day.
Kajal reassured me over email last night when we discussed the logistics of the schedule and reviewing the Guests Posts and other effluvium of running even a very simple site. “We’ll find and set into a rhythm,” Kajal wrote, “And it will be good!”
Something mysterious took over most of the garden. I thought it was a zucchini plant with no zucchinis but then I realized it was maybe Morning Glory. See it hear, with the pink flowers closed? And I don’t know if the orange and yellow are Mums or what. They all came from a packet of mixed wildflower seeds my friend sent from California.
My mistake—one I’m sure of many—was not giving the radishes enough space. You can’t just plant them and hope for the best. And you especially cannot do that if you are going to let young children sprinkle wildflower seeds anywhere they like.
But it depends on what you are seeking from the garden. Are you focused on the harvest? On the process? On the chance for something to grow? On impressive presentation? On experimentation?
As a student of yoga, I would be asked merely to observe the garden as it is, not what it could be.
Those early radishes are gone now, like a first draft that’s been all but destroyed by revision. But the garden is a palimpsest, as we are too. Perhaps if I dug through the tangle of maybe-Mums and maybe-Morning Glories, I’d find traces of the early radish days.
I have never seen a Morning Glory—or any flower—open or close. “It’s very rare to see them,” my nine-year-old Wally whispers in my ear one late summer evening in the garden.
Through a simple Google search I learn the flowers open only and close only once. Other flowers replace them the next glorious morning, but each flower on its own lives only a single day.