Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gardener Welcomes The Fall Season... Simplify and Slow Down

It’s mid-October and I’m feeling energized by the idea of finding simplicity.  I love autumn, the cooler temperatures, the colors and the idea of switching gears and slowing things down a bit.  Yet, when I think about the idea of slowing down I almost chuckle to myself!  Slow down – right?  Who does that or even knows how to these days?  We’re referencing every electronic gadget we possibly can to communicate, get answers, order dinner, get directions and all at break neck speed. Slow down! Ha! Speed up says the world.
One of my greatest pleasures along with gardening and cooking is the simple act of reading. There is nothing better than losing ones self in a book and being transformed by the author’s words. I am currently reading Greg Mortenson’s second book titled, Stones into Schools.  I highly recommend Three Cups of Tea, his first book for its profound story about building schools in Pakistan & Afghanistan and how he has changed the lives of countless individuals & villages by educating children, especially girls. Greg Mortenson writes: as any wise village elder will tell you, anything truly important is worth doing very slowly and worth the wait.  This sentiment has resonated in my mind the past several days; so simple, so true, so REAL.
As I was pondering my garden over the weekend, this statement came to me.  Larry and I have nurtured our plantings for years, enjoying the benefits we have experienced over time.  The growth of our mature trees and gardens has been a process, even a journey.  We cherish the privacy, scenery and beauty our wait has rewarded us. Then as the mind works and goes from one thought to another, my spring garden comes to the forefront.  I so enjoy the spring blooming bulbs, the first burst of what’s to come in the new season.  But here’s the deal… We are, in general an ‘instant gratification’ society.  We want it now. We want it done for us and at full peak/performance.  In fact, as a business owner, I would be remiss if the nursery did not offer ‘Grab & Go’ container gardens and mature plant material for our customers.  When it comes to spring blooming bulbs, planting them now forces us to wait 4 to 5 months for the color to arrive. Can’t have it now? Then most people just don’t see the benefits.  It’s difficult to grasp that a couple hours in the garden now offers hours, days and weeks of color, enjoyment and reward in the spring when we really yearn for it. So here, as I write to you, knowing that I too am a culprit of the ‘Do It for Me, Now’ mentality (I love those $6 meals), I am committed to simplifying and slowing down.  I’ll take a couple of hours now to plant those giant Alliums, Tulips and Grape Hyacinths which will over time and through winter’s rest become gorgeous and fragrant blooms heralding the arrival of spring.
On a final note and I know you can relate to this…  I do enjoy the thrill of the hunt; discovering the latest and greatest, the must have item or service of the moment (and I do love having a terrific purse on my shoulder at all times).  But then I pause for a moment and I hear my mother’s voice and Greg Mortenson’s words telling me, “Stay simple, stay true, and plant those bulbs.” Those reminders are what encourage me to wait with patience knowing that my rewards will be many.
... Frances Grossman