Thursday, July 19, 2012
Life Lessons From The Garden: Last Year's Garbage Can Be This Year's Harvest
I gardened some last year but my youngest daughter Hayley gardened more. She was really into it. She researched the best plants, bought organic seeds, built raised boxes for the plants, started them with a grow light inside and wound up with a veritable forest of tomato plants. There were so many tomato plants and so many tomatoes I am still using frozen packets of tomatoes now a year later. Because there were so many tomatoes some of them weren't even picked and rotted on the plants falling to the ground.
This year, Hayley's living in Kentucky so I'm on my own with the garden again and I'm doing okay but I can't say I've even come close to the prolific garden of tomatoes, she produced last summer. I bought my tomato plants already rooted, planted and watered them and they're doing fine. Here's the really interesting part of this story. In the raised beds where Hayley planted tomatoes last year I've had several tomato plants simply volunteer. They grew in a bed where I planted lettuce originally and when I saw them sprouting I wasn't sure if they'd survive. However I've staked them up and nurtured them a bit and amazingly enough it looks like I will have tomatoes from last year's garbage.
There's a lesson in this for me. Last year's garbage can become this year's harvest. Seems obvious in gardening but I have found it to be a lesson in life as well. Some of the most difficult times in my life have been a struggle to survive. But in the midst of surviving, I've found that I can use what I've experienced and actually thrive later. I can site lessons learned, relationships renewed, deepened or established. I have learned things that can later become support for and shared with others. The last two years have been particularly painful years for me in terms of family. I've experienced the death of my mother and stepfather and broken relationships. Has anything good come out of this? Although it was initially hard to see there has. I have forged new relationships, strengthened old ones and trimmed toxic relationships from my life. In addition to that I've written a book about finding and living out your calling. I've definitely made a message out of the mess. In the midst of adversity, I have learned to ask myself, "Where's the opportunity in this?"
What about you is there a message in the mess of your life? What is the opportunity that may now be available to you?