lesson(s) from the flowers

I used to love blogging and writing and sharing my experiences with whoever cared to listen.

But I haven't written a blog post in over a year. I think I slowly allowed the goal of "perfection" to get in the way, and when I realized I actually know nothing, and have only imperfect, incomplete things to share, I stopped sharing. It sounds so silly to say it (write it) out loud. Like obviously nobody is perfect (this is what 'they' tell us, but our neighbour with the friendly smile and clean clothes sure looks pretty perfect from over here) so why does this lofty goal of wanting to have complete, nicely packaged thoughts stop me from blogging? It sure doesn't hold me back from my personal interactions (if you know me, you just know what I'm talking about). 

So, whatever, I want to thread some thoughts together about my wildflower garden this year.

It has, indeed, been my biggest and greatest teacher this summer.

It's kind of a love story, and it started with a dream and a hope and a vision for a wildflower meadow with flowers as high as a wheat field that I could romantically stroll among and admire and be taken into another world. I envisioned walking through my flower patch in a linen flowy top and high waisted, below the knee vintage skirt (you think I am over exaggerating but I'm not, these were my real hopes and dreams) and I would end up lying down in my flower field with an old book, surrounded by tall wispy flowers that blew in the wind. 
Clearly, my hopes were kinda high...

Spring came, and I seeded my huge bag of wildflower seed to cover 700 sq ft, plus a bunch of other seed packets, with immense joy and anticipation. 
Then, I waited. And waited. And waited. 
A week later I was CONVINCED nothing was growing and the wind had blew away all my seed, or the birds ate it, or something horrendous had happened and I was in deep stress and sorrow over the loss of my wildflower dreams (again, you think I'm exaggerating but I'm not).
I waited some more, bought a sprinkler to keep the ground wet in a particularly dry spring, and kept checking daily for any sign of green.
Still nothing.

A little while later I noticed some green popping through the dark soil. 
Could it be?! Flowers?! Were they growing?!
Well, kinda. Sorta. There were SOME itty bitty flowers starting to pop up, but for the most part it was all.....
Quack grass. Quack grass EVERYWHERE!
I was quickly convinced by dear sweet Cousin who knows everything about killing weeds, that quack grass was indeed the devil weed of all weeds and  it needed to die ASAP despite the cost. So I sprayed (aka: husband sprayed) the shit out of my flower garden with a wonderful, lovely chemical that will surely kill us all, but kept my sparse few flowers alive, and killed JUST the quack. Amazing.
Namaste Cousin.

Another month passed, with careful watchfulness, forced patience, and semi-trust/doubt in the seeding/growing process .
I began weeding. A LOT. 
I've never ever weeded my vegetable gardens like this (or at all really). 
I guess I'm motivated much more by aesthetic beautiful nourishment than nutritional nourishment.

And now..... my wildflower garden is,
It's not what it was in my dreams when I first seeded it, but in a way, its better.
Each flower bud feels exciting and miraculous. Maybe because I watched its fight for life, maybe because I ended up expecting nothing to grow and was surprised by grace. 

My garden has been my biggest and greatest teacher this summer. 
I'll let you do the work in creating parallels in your own life, cause I'm sick of writing now.
I just know, I've learned a lot. 
And I'll probably do it again next year mainly the same way, with the same anticipation, stress, anxiety, defeat, hope, patience and grace. 
Mainly the same way.
If I'm lucky, maybe with a few minor changes, but
it takes me a long time to learn things. 

"Everything that slows us down and forces patience, everything that sets us back into the slow circles of nature, is a help. Gardening is an instrument of grace."
-May Sarton


"A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift; above all it teaches entire trust"
-Gertrude Jekyll

may sarton gardening quote