On patience and planting seeds

There’s a lot growing in my garden at the moment. Most of it below ground.

And that’s alright, right? We’re still in early Spring, and no amount of me staring at the earth make the seeds grow any faster.

The green is tantalising. Curvaceous peas peeping above the soil. Eager radishes, keen kale.

And in my kitchen the treasures remain dormant. Tomatoes, peppers, okra, basil. It’s been wet, and cold, and dark. Not the time to stick your head above the parapet.

It’s a potent metaphor for my non-gardening based life (which is most of it, to be fair, despite my aspirations this time of year). The various projects I planted in the autumn have been tormenting me of late: blooming too slow, sending shoots off in unexpected directions, failing to find the compost they need to thrive. I have been ridden with anxiety in the face of things insisting on remaining outside of my control: choosing their own pace, their own path, their own form.

There’s an irony to my frustration, on many levels.

I’m committed right now to uprooting power-over culture. To seeking out the places where hierarchy is showing up and illuminating the damage it causes. And in my own life – that’s me! For all its talk of equity and social justice my mind is distinctly lacking patience for my neurodivergent self and would love it if I could just get things together, thank you very much.

And then there’s that whole other world beyond me – beyond us. I have so much reverence for nature – for her teachings and her gifts. I eschew New Years resolutions in favour of intentions planted with the first new moon, and wait patiently for Imbolc to allow my dreaming to really take root. And now it’s Spring – by every possibly measure – and I’m frustrated that things are still so uncertain, that I can’t see shoots of life emerging from the dirt.

I’ve been blaming myself. A lack of focus, lack of insight, lack of effort. Except I know that I’ve been doing all I can. And so my character gets called into question – perhaps I simply don’t have what it takes?

And then I look at the trays of pots sitting on the kitchen counter. Seeds I planted days ago still hidden in the cold, dark soil. It frustrates me that they haven’t yet sent shoots up, but I would never blame them. They are taking their time, doing what they need to do, protecting themselves in this unexpected cool snap.

Maybe that applies to me too? Not just me, but the projects I’ve been stewarding through the winter months. I *think* we should be ready, because the calendar says so, because the sun keeps trying to shine. But actually conditions really haven’t been conducive to thriving.

So patience. And remembering that the time it takes a plant (or project) to grow will differ from year to year.

Don’t stop watering, and nurturing, and holding space.

But do stop worrying, because that never grew anything.

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