Updated: Mar 31
It's that time of year, when we begin to consider what we want to plant when the cold earth finally warms. We turn from what was to what is possible and begin to reflect on the groundwork needed to yield a good harvest. There's a balance needed between a solid, thorough plan and moving headlong into the wild unknown.
This morning, I took inventory of my herbs and oils, bottles and jars. Before we know what we need to seek out, it's vital to know what we have. Otherwise, we end up using precious time, energy and money in the wrong places.
While it started out feeling tedious, it very quickly became energizing and I appreciate the sense of clarity that has come with knowing where I stand. Taking stock of what we have and what we still need is the genesis of our success, whether that success is a romantic relationship, a healthy, happy friendship or a work situation which feels generative and mutually beneficial.
Once that was done, I moved on to what I was most excited about: taking inventory of my seeds, so that I can order more for this coming season at the farm. I remembered constructing the greenhouse, creating a schedule for when each crop needed to be planted, mapping out where each crop would go.
To sort through the small packages of tiny seeds was like encountering fond memories of old friends. Borage and wormwood, lemonbalm and thyme, calendula and wild bergamot, beets and carrots-- the possibilities of all of these held in my hands. Still, I have to wait for the right time to plant them if I want them to take root and rise up from the soil to stand outstretched under the sun's rays.
It'll be quite some time before the last frost, before the earth is warm enough to generate new life from those seeds. That doesn't mean there's nothing to be done. On the contrary. Now, I order the seeds my heart desires. I map out what is possible this year, what I'll let go of and what I am willing to rebuild.
It's true for seeds, but it's also true for the rest of our lives. Often, the only purposeful pace is the one which the natural world has set for us. We can't rush the thawing of cold earth or strengthen the warmth of the sun's rays. What we can do is be prepared for how we intend to use those resources when they are available.
What can help you be open to creative visions and insights? Which projects, rhythms and relationships are you longing to return to? What will sustain you as the cold weather continues? These are questions to feel into and reflect on.
There are no right answers, there are only your answers. I feel sustained by the memory of lilacs blooming everywhere, the feeling of grass under my feet and warm winds rippling through my hair. I am longing to return to maker markets and picnics and the season of ripe tomatoes and the orange pink lavender of spring sunsets.
If you watch and listen, you will find your answers. Pay attention to what you turn toward, to what and who it would feel joyful and enlivening to reconnect with. Then plan a single step toward that reconnection. How can you make room for it? What resources are you able and excited to dedicate to that relationship?
The most nourishing soil is that in which many different things grow together. There's a delicate balance to be crafted-- some plants take certain nutrients from the soil, while others give back that same nutrient. This is why we plant corn, squash and tomatoes together. Because together, they each offer something the others need.
Who is your soil? Who encourages your growth, reflects your growing edges back to you, has your back no matter what? Who do you want to grow with in this coming season? Now is the time to ask these questions and to listen for the answers. They'll come as surely as spring will-- when they're good and ready.
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