Saturday, February 16, 2013

2013 Challenge: To Not Sew a Single Seed

Catalogs became the voice of the devil to me

What would happen to my life if I didn't sew a single seed in my garden?  I began wondering about this a few years ago when pain levels in my back began making it increasingly difficult to garden and have decided actually do it and see what will happen.  That may not sound hard to some of you, but for someone like me who has passionately gardened for decades, I am finding it at times to be very challenging.

For instance, those seed catalogs that I so love to see come in the mail have turned into the voice of the devil to me.  No more fun shopping those gorgeous photos of luscious lettuces and tempting tomatoes.   I wouldn't you know it, I opened my mailbox the day after making this decision and out popped two of my very favorite seed catalogs on the same day. "NO, NO, NO! This is not fair!" I shouted waving them in the air so God could see them and everyone else too, laughing at the irony of it all.  My neighbors must think I am a loon sometimes.

When the seed packets were put out at our local grocery store I just had to peek.  Just once you know...take a little peek to see if there was anything new this year which I realized was really seeing what I was going to be missing and a really bad idea too by the way.  Standing there in the isle in front of God and everybody I suddenly realized  I could not buy a single one of them even if I wanted to!  Resisting the temptation to envision gorgeous lush Mascara lettuce plants or killer Laciniato kale or beautiful Bull's Blood beets I could grow was awful and hard and sad.  The reality of it all, even though I knew it was good for me was harder than I expected and my eyes welled up with tears.  Suddenly I realized I had better get away from the racks before I lost it completely.

This whole exercise in letting go of growing from seed is probably good for me I keep telling myself.  Not probably, it is actually very good for me and for two reasons.  First, because I have chronic back pain, 24/7 rob your life kind of chronic pain, back pain that has gotten so bad that it is basically crippled me.  I can't sew seeds if I cannot take care of the plants and to take care of the plants I need to be able to shovel, which I can't do, and I can't kneel or bend to weed, and I absolutely cannot lug a get the picture.  (I still secretly dream of digging...I miss digging more than any others work in the garden.)  I know I need to be careful with what I do and that means the gardening has to go.  This pain was the impetus for my taking on this challenge which also has made it easier to accept.  Hopefully it will be a part of me sticking to it too.  Harder is convincing other people that gardening is not something I should be doing right now.

Some of you are probably wondering why I don't get my husband to garden. Let me stop you right there before you attempt to voice that thought...No! No! No!  That man, who I love dearly, is best when he just fixes things and stays out of the garden!  We all have things we just cannot do very well and his is gardening so don't even go there!  He proved that long ago when I trusted him to help water the veggie garden while I was at a family reunion.  I demonstrated what needed done and recommended what not to do and why...he did the later.  I got home to find half the tomato plants had died for lack of water because he thought he set up this smart watering system, the one I warned him not to.  I just cannot trust the man because he is always trying to do things by "sciencing them out" which almost always fails. (ugh...Sorry Honey...I love ya but you are no gardener.) 

At this point I have not been able to take care of the garden as it should be for three years and I am more than ready to let it go.   It has become a bit of a nightmare and needs a total makeover, as in an "extreme garden makeover".  Outside of a miracle that will not be happening by my hand unless I gain my health back and even then the desire to garden like I used to just isn't there anymore.

God has been trying to get it through my thick scull that there is something else He wants me do besides gardening which honestly was my whole life for several years.  I kept getting nudges to use other gifts and talents, like writing and art...not that I am incredibly artistic but God has this crazy way of taking what we have and making it wonderful so I am game.  But what should I do?  That was and is the big question for me right now.  There are enough options that it is making this pretty exciting actually. 

There are a lot of friends out there who know only that I know a lot about plants and little else about me.  It has been difficult for them to wrap their minds around the idea of me not gardening because it was my identity for so long.  To them I have always been "Patty the Plant Lady" and gardening is what I do!  I am Patty who talks in Latin and can grow anything from cuttings and Patty, the lady everyone goes to with their plant questions.  Yes, that WAS me, and I am still that person...just not like I used to be, I am becoming more.

Gardening and plants had taken up so much of my life I think I got lost in the process; I had become a "gardenaholic" as we gardeners jokingly say.  But honestly I think I really was addicted to it.  I used it as an escape, as my identity and I buried myself beneath it like a drunk hides in his bottle. The truer me was trapped beneath it all, my desires laying dormant, waiting to grow, to bloom the way God intended for me too from the beginning. 

This has been confirmed to me as since having to let go of being "the gardener" I have seen an increased desire to grow in other areas that were not as well cultivated as my plant nerd self was.  Desires to do things I used to do and some things I've never done before have been sprouting up like spring seedlings.  It's time for those other things to be brought forward and I am really excited by some of the possibilities.

So by laying down my trowel, the shovel and hoe, giving away all the seeds of temptation I have stored up in my pretty little heart and head, I am now opening my hands and my heart to what God has next.  I am getting ready for my next assignment and gaining better understanding of who this me is that God has designed so wonderfully.  Preparing myself in mind and body, through studying scriptures, reading books, working hard on getting my back health is me taking this journey hand in hand with my God, one step at a time.  It will be interesting to see where it takes me and I look forward to what I will discover.  Stay tuned!

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plant for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Copyright © 2013 by Patty Hicks

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