More accurately I think, I want to know that what I’ve planted will bloom, will rise, will feed me once again. I want to trust that everything is going to be okay.
With the veggies in the garden, it’s easier to trust. Every year after a long winter we see the little green fins. The less I poke, the happier the garden grows.
What is curious is that I continue to have faith in the garden even though not everything in the garden survives. Sometimes there are rough seasons, late frosts. Sometimes it doesn’t work out. But I never lose trust in the growing cycle, somehow it is easier for me to understand the growing cycles of things I can see and touch.
When it comes to the dreams of my heart, it takes a lot of gentle reminding that things take time to grow.
Everything Grows at its Own Pace
One of the things I find so beautiful about nature is the organic overlap of rhythms; each life force takes it’s own dance and weaves it’s way into existence with its surroundings. Some plants are wildly blooming beings, while other plants need to marinate in their surroundings for two years before showing their first blossom to the world. I don’t judge the plants for having different rates of growth and I certainly don’t prefer faster growing plants as a rule. But when it comes to my inner garden, I am constantly comparing, worrying, as anxious as a stage mother obsessed. Why has this not sprouted? Why is this so small? Shouldn’t this be in bloom by now?
Do you relate to this? How accepting are you of your own growth cycles?
Whatever Happens on the Other Side of the Fence is Okay
As if it wasn’t enough for me to worry about what it going on in my own garden, I can’t help but peek over the fence at my neighbours gardens and get that icky jolt of comparison.
How did she get her peonies to be so lush? How does she get such perfect giant roses every year?
It’s hard to see someone else get that book deal, find that passionate love or buy the home of their dreams when you feel so far away from similar longings. It’s painful sometimes to see others get what we wish for so deeply. On dark days, I start to wonder if there is something wrong with me. If I were more (beautiful, smart, thin, enlightened) would my dreams also come true? This kind of thinking makes me feel so scratchy and small, but it also connects me to my longing. It shows me how deeply I want these dreams too.
And one thing I know for sure, glaring over the fence at someone else’s roses is not going to make my dreams come true any faster. The bitterness of comparison doesn’t nurture what I’ve got growing under my own soil. And furthermore, what is growing under my own soil is my own. We each have our own bouquet of dreams. It would be a shame to neglect this gift and make someone else’s garden more important than our own. The garden needs all kinds of plants. The world needs all kinds of dreams.
When it comes to the growth cycles of my dreams, patience is a practice I need to return to time and time again. With gentle reminders I come back to my organic nature, back to my faith in cycles, and back to the tenderness of my dreams. I would like to offer you the same gentle reminders I give myself when I start to panic. I know that the dreams growing in you are precious, important, meaningful and so full of beauty. I would never want to rush those stars into rising before their time.
Take this with you, my fellow dreamers:
- Just because something is underground doesn’t mean it isn’t growing. In fact, so much of the growing happens under the soil, away in the luscious dark of nutritious beginnings. It happens with plants, and it happens with us. Our dreams may need to stay snuggled underground for years before the root systems are strong enough.
- No matter what is growing in the gardens of others, know that only you can tend to the garden of your dreams. Your dreams need you to cultivate a loving place for them to grow. No one else will tend your dreams. Your dreams need you.
- Sometimes plants that are not quite ready for the journey die off unexpectedly. It’s nature’s way of making space for something even better to grow into. Trust this. Loss sometimes is necessary for new things to take root. Consider that there might be a wonderful surprise on its way.
- You get to decide what you plant in your dream garden. And just as you get to decide what goes in, you get to choose what comes out. If an old dream isn’t worth waiting for, uproot it and work the soil over for something you really desire. This is your creation. It might change, just as you might. Let your garden breathe and speak to your heart.
- Within everything that blooms are the seeds for new life. Life wants to live. It finds ways to push through concrete slabs sometimes. Trust this. Your garden will grow.