Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Beauty in Waiting

I'm finally well enough to get out into the garden.  And while I can't do everything I usually do, I was able to pull some weeds (with the help of this handy contraption--I'm still too sore to do a lot of bending from the waist.)  As I worked, I inspected the beds, trying to get an idea of what needed to be done and how to pace myself.  From past experience I know that while I will probably cleared for normal activity in mid-June, it will most likely be several more months before I'm able to do everything I want to do. Hauling mulch bags.  Digging garden beds.  Transplanting overgrown perennials.  Since I'm the family gardener, all of that will have to wait.

I hate waiting.  Yet it seems that half of my life is spent waiting for something.  Waiting to recover from surgery.  Waiting to bring my kids home from China.  Waiting for the new kids to adjust to living in a family.  Waiting for my book to be published.  The list goes on an on.  If I could, I'd cut out all of the waiting in my life and just. Get. On. With. It.

While I slowly worked my way through the garden, I noticed spent daffodil leaves in all of my beds.  What a mess.  The impatient part of me said, "Cut the leaves back immediately!"  The gardener in my said, "Wait."
Daffodil leaves beside a hosta.

You see, those spent leaves are more than an eyesore.  They're working, absorbing sunlight and transforming it into food for next year's blooms.  The leaves must be allowed to yellow and then brown before you cut them back.  Cut the leaves too soon (or braid them as some gardeners do) and your daffodils won't bloom next year.

It's taking everything in me not to run out and cut these back.

How do I know this?  Well, let's just say that last year my impatience go the better of me.  Despite knowing better, I cut back the leaves before they had completely died, and this year, less than half of my daffodils bloomed.  Waiting and dying are vital parts of the daffodil's life cycle.

As much as I hate it, waiting and dying are also vital parts of our life cycle.  I don't mean physical death, although that can apply too, instead I meaning dying to our selves.  To the fast paced world in which we live where everything must happen Right Now.

I'm working to consciously slow down, because I wonder what we're missing as we rush through our days.  We need to stop and appreciate the beauty in waiting, and in dying to the need to hurry through our lives.  If we do, I believe we will be stunned by what blooms when the wait is over.      

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