I see a pattern forming in how some of the most important things I do in my life develop. I wanted to write for years, but couldn’t muster the courage or belief that I had anything worth saying. In those intermittent years, I read everything I could get my hands on about authors’ processes, their strategies, and their successes and failures. By the time I started writing seriously, I had a firm handle on what was required of me: persistence and discipline. Those two things were what I could control.
This summer taught me that the same thing was happening as I looked outside my back windows season after season. While I didn’t know a lot of technical things, I knew what I liked and what I wanted. I knew that I wanted flowers and plants that remind me of my beloved home state of Kansas.
The afternoon that I decided to take the leap and turn part of one cleared area into a flower bed, I chose zinnias and sunflowers for my starter garden. I had no idea what would come of it. Did I have even a remote chance of inheriting my grandparents’ green thumbs? Would the seeds take?
I borrowed my neighbor’s pitch fork and tilled the ground and then added potting soil on top of the dirt. I read the instructions on the back of the seed packets and planted the seeds. I watered religiously and in four days I saw zinnia sprouts. I was thrilled. This early success built momentum.
I purposely started with a small bed. I was more interested in a little bit of success than biting off more than I could chew or losing interest. Plus, even if none of the seeds sprouted, I was only out $5.
The plants made steady progress, and one evening I took my daughter out to see the sprouts.
“I'm proud of you, Mom. I can see your hard work.”
There’s nothing better than the admiration of an eleven-year-old. I was delighted with my garden’s progress and motivated to keep watering and capturing its progress day by day.
|Sprouts appeared days after I planted the seeds.|
|I could not believe the progress I saw from day to day, week to week.|