There’s something magical happening at our place. As the earth is allowed to design the garden’s landscape, we are finding more and more signs of life. Sometimes, the signs are large and noticeable, like the sound of more birds singing, larger and more frequent butterfly sightings, more robust plant growth. Other times, the signs are small and hard to notice. Tiny wildflowers blooming in the driveway, ladybugs on plant stems, mushrooms growing under the lower plant canopies, bulbs peeking up through the soil….
The garden is such a wonderful analogy for our human condition. In my early years as a gardener, I would rush out at the first sign of spring or in the last days of nice fall weather and put new plants into the ground. What inevitably happened was that the plants would die – because they weren’t strong enough to survive through the inconsistencies of the season, and I wasn’t aware enough of their needs to provide the nurturing they needed at this early phase of their lives. This is also something that’s easily done in our daily lives – jumping into action before an idea is fully formed often causes its immediate demise. When this happens it is because of our inability to perceive and care for the tiny bud that’s forming inside.
At the beginning stages of growth, it is good to go slowly, looking closely at the potential – is it strong, is it in balance, what does it need to nurture further growth? Underneath the surface is a continuous, minute process that is perceivable to those who develop the ability to sense deeply the changes that are happening internally. When we look closely, there are always tiny pieces of growth happening. At first, hidden deep inside, the hints of possibility can be invisible. Then, as the potential grows, visibility improves for those who are paying attention. Much as the newly planted seed is beginning its germination deep underneath the soil, it is invisible to us above the soil, and then, suddenly, the first signs of life are revealed above ground! This new growth is vulnerable and requires regular attention to fully form. Sometimes it is possible to see the shell of the seed attached to the new growth. A clear indication of the newness of what is forming.
This is a process that happens inside us as well. Moving through life we are often unclear of the path we are walking with the wind blowing us to and fro. Many opportunities are presented, seeds are sown, yet only some of them take root and grow. These seeds are not always consciously planted. Many times, a seed is thrown out in our surroundings and an unidentifiable part of us swoops up the idea and stores it until the ground is fertile for germination. As the idea develops, we may forget the original seed that was – its origins, characteristics or purposes – to focus on what the seed is becoming.
We can consciously nurture those seeds, set them aside for later or ignore the possibilities and blindly follow the whim of the day. “Allowing nature to take its course” doesn’t mean that we wander aimlessly. A small amount of attention on a new direction or idea, when coupled with waiting time for the possibilities to form, opens up unexpected directions to act on as the next step. A clear goal may or may not be in sight. The process of following the subtle movements of change will reveal the ending eventually – even if it is only a pause as the chapter completes.
With practice, as each step unfolds, it is easier to feel and trust the endless process of internally blossoming.