Plant a Garden, Keep the Faith
On September 14, 2011 | 7 Comments | writing | Tags: , , , ,

“What if it doesn’t rain?”

My husband, ever practical, has a valid question. We’ve had little rain since February, and the garden is empty save for a few hearty pepper plants that manage to eke out a few tiny sweet peppers despite the extraordinary heat. At mid-September, we’re still hitting highs of over 100. Even for Houston, the summer has been too long and too dry.

Still, we have a small blessing in the cooler morning temperatures, and I can get out before it hits 80 to start preparing the garden for fall. I’ve pulled weeds, trimmed some of the few native plants that are holding their own, and used some stored rainwater to keep the surviving herbs alive and to feed my poor senna tree with its few straggly blooms.

When we planned our travel schedule, I insisted on staying home from mid-September through October so I could work on the garden. I have a greater need to be home than he does. Home grounds me, and nowhere do I feel more grounded than when I am outside, digging in the dirt and watching plants grow…or, in this case, not grow. I don’t like seeing my little butterfly and bird plants turn brown and lose their leaves. I miss the blooms, the bees, the movement of the life within the garden. And yet I am outside each day, right after breakfast, doing what I can. Fall is coming, and I want to be ready for October planting.

“But what if it doesn’t rain?” he asks again.

In the past two weeks I have written about the discouragement and doubt that hit us when we’re manifesting our dreams. I offered a variety of action strategies to get through those difficult times. This week, I want to emphasize the element of faith. I can’t stop working on the garden because it might not rain. I have to assume that it will. I will mulch and fertilize and plant as if fall will bring better weather.

Too often we wait until conditions are right to begin…and of course, conditions are never right. We will always have obstacles to our dreams. We may have a strong vision but don’t see how we’re going to get there. When we have faith, we take action, day by day, showing up for our dreams and making ourselves available for them to come true.

It’s no coincidence that as I observe the need for faith, I am about to put my first novel out into the world. My editor is finished, leaving me to read it through yet again and put the final touches on it. Any writer will tell you that a book is never done — I could tinker with it for the rest of my life and it would never be perfect. I have no idea whether or not anyone will read it or, if they do, like it.

All I know is that I am a writer. I am a gardener. I will write because I have faith that one day an audience, however small, will want to read my stories if I keep putting them out there. I will garden because one day it’s bound to rain, and I’ll be ready when it comes.

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