Spring has come again! The seasons and passing of time have remained consistent even in a year fraught with inconsistency and turmoil. I so clearly remember last spring and the hope I gathered from the cherry blossoms, sunshine, and planting a garden with my boys even as COVID began to shut down life was we’d known it. Little did we know, the seasons would come and go, and we’d see a whole year impacted by the virus. Last March, I thought about the mess and reflected on the learnings from watching my kids plant seeds with reckless abandon and celebration if one seed came to fruition. This March, I am thinking about compost and its importance in growing new things. Compost is made up of waste, things discarded, that break down and enrich the soil for new life to spring forth. Different waste composts at different rates. I don’t know about you, but I have a lot of compost from this past year!
As I reflect on this last year and the learnings, many are already obvious and some are even ready to bloom. Other things are still in process and will take time, possibly another year or longer, to breakdown into life-giving goodness, new ideas, new nourishment, new blooms. I am pondering the patience and resilience of the seed and how a seed germinates in its own time. Spring always gives me the itch to plant, to dig in the dirt. Perhaps it is from my ancestors who were farmers and there is something genetic that springs forth with the coming of warmer weather and longer days. Regardless of where it comes from, the desire comes every year. This March, I am assessing the past year and taking the rich compost to offer the seeds I want to plant. I am also turning over the soil and compost of the hardships that may still need more time to break down. As I reflect upon and observe those things still needing time to decompose and offer their wisdom, I am striving to be patient, yet persistent. I can begin to see the beauty in the process and the lessons in this cycle of composting, planting, and feeding the soil to ensure growth.
I am reminded to lean in, to wait and endure with grace – not all things break down at once to offer their nutrients and support growth. There is beauty in the consistency of this eternal and ongoing process. I am also reminded that some of the best lessons in life spring forth with time. I am appreciating and seeking the lessons of nature with the coming of spring.
What is already blooming this spring for you? What have you learned this past year that is inspiring you? What still needs more time to break down in order to offer lessons, insights and the nutrients for growing something new? What do you observe from this process of personal composting? What is giving you hope these days, and reminding you to patiently wait?
Quote(s) I am sitting with, pondering and find inspiring:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
~ Maya Angelou ~
Passage I’m Reading and Re-Reading:
A Garden of Poems
One Day in New York City, I met a Buddhist scholar and I told her about my practice of mindfulness in the vegetable garden. I enjoy growing lettuce, tomatoes, and other vegetables, and I like to spend time gardening every day.
She said, “You shouldn’t spend your time growing vegetables. You should spend more time writing poems. Your poems are so beautiful. Everyone can grow lettuce, but not everyone can write poems like you do.”
I told her, “If I don’t grow lettuce, I can’t write poems.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh ~
Book I am Reading:
How To Be More Tree: Essential Life Lessons for Perennial Happiness by Liz Marvin, Illustrated by Annie Davidson
What Amazon has to say:
A beautifully illustrated celebration of the wisdom of trees and what they can teach us about everyday life, from basking in the sun to weathering the storm.
This sweet and informative book brings together fifty-nine universal life lessons taken from the infinite wisdom of trees. As you learn about dozens of trees, from the Acai palm to the Yoshino cherry, you’ll find that their means of survival are not so different from ours. The juniper tree proves that it’s possible to flourish anywhere as long as we put down strong roots. A mountain hemlock finds strength basking in the sun while a black walnut’s sturdiness comes from its thick, steely core. The hawthorn demonstrates resilience as it adapts to strong winds and storms by finding balance in its roots.
Trees have many more lessons to offer, from letting go of the past, to branching out, to resisting the urge to overstretch ourselves. With detailed illustrations and advice for lifelong happiness, How to Be More Tree is an essential companion for all those moments when we’re having trouble seeing the forest for the trees.
Please check out my latest blog post, Are we Losing Our Humanity? You can also find recent posts Lessons from the Run, Part 1: Mile 18 – Endurance, and Lessons from the Run, Part 2: Resilience, Lessons of the Run, Part 3: Rest, and Be and See the Light which are all still relevant to our current circumstances. Stay tuned for my upcoming blog posts My Vision: The Power of EQ to Create Change, and my thoughts on Courage vs. Confidence! If you missed my February edition of Three Thoughts for Thursday, you can find it here, on my blog as well.
I’m always looking for new inspiration, new books to read, new podcasts to listen to, so please send your suggestions my way or comment on this post to offer some new recommendations!
As always, thank you for your continued support and readership! Stay strong, stay brave, stay true to you!