A week away from the garden,
rain and sun in my absence
grow a jungle of weeds,
a veritable lawn of grass
in and amongst the planted ones.
I can only stand back
and marvel at what sun and rain can do.
How all living things
are meant to grow…
It feels as though the world
insists on this for me as well,
no matter my resistance
to grow, to change,
to reach toward light.
Living things are meant to grow. Growing means bumping up against challenges and fighting my way through the weeds. Growing usually isn’t something I choose for myself because it’s difficult and uncomfortable. When things are going well, I want them to stay that way. When they aren’t, I just want to get out of that situation as quickly as possible. Yet, it’s those times when things aren’t going the way I want that I can grow and learn the most.
I used to think of obstacles as signs of defeat; I would resign myself to the disappointment of not reaching a particular goal. Now I see obstacles as opportunities to try something new. They are puzzle pieces that need to fit a different way. If I look at challenges as games that need to be figured out, I’m able to brainstorm more possibilities and not take set-backs as personally as before.
I’m still not excited about all the time it will take to reclaim my garden after being away, but it’s the result of other things I wanted: time to visit with grandchildren and (finally!) sun and warm weather. Things don’t stay the same: not grandchildren, not gardens. Weeding provides an opportunity to reflect on what’s important, to be thankful for the opportunities provided to visit with family, and to grow patience as I sweat and swat my way through the garden.