Our beets, Swiss chard, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower seeds never sprouted. Instead, two eggplants hang from a hardy plant where we never knowingly placed a seed. A second generation of sunflowers has cropped up here and there, more as a result of messily feasting birds than of our own will. We did share one radish last week. The crisp bite encouraged us to plant several more rows, which appear fine. Our string beans are slowly crawling up the lattice, though not quickly enough to escape some damage from unknown pests. The weeds creep in where many of our seeds still sit dormant in the ground. Two tiny cilantro seedlings are all that is left in the herb garden aside from a poor looking Genovese basil plant with only a few leaves clinging to its scrawny brown stalk. Yet, winding around the wooden compost fence is none other than a beautiful Morning Glory vine in bloom, a relic from several seasons past.
What kind of funny tricks are these, where that which grows best requires the least effort, and that which we have labored long hours over seems to struggle the most? Our garden is clearly telling us to “just Be.” I have been so busy in the past weeks, and not very connected to my truest wants or needs — which involve, in a few words, becoming very un-busy. Still. In the past month and a half I have been sick several times, most recently with a 24hour stomach bug. I wonder about the disconnect between my efforts and my body’s responses. Despite a number of green juices, time spent at the gym, and plenty of home cooked and healthy vegan meals, I still wind up in some type of G.I. distress.
I think about the change of seasons, the recent Hunter’s moon, my inner voice calling for me to be still, telling me to purge unnecessary things, and to simplify. My mind has been so active recently: I always want to do, try, make, go, think. Yet, in breaking from routine there may be something to glean greater than the sense of accomplishment that comes with checking off a mental to-do list — a sense of calm, peace, knowingness and stillness that is always there, beneath the layers of conscious noise. What beautiful surprises will crop up there, in that space?