Saturday, April 14, 2012

Down to Earth

Thoughts on Art and Writing

3 things I learned about life while playing in the dirt.

Spring arrived this week with a trip to the garden center to buy flowers for my planters and seeds for our vegetable garden. While up to my ankles in peat-moss, turning the dirt under to aerate the soil I had an epiphany—a sudden understanding that gardening principals apply to art, writing and life in general. Here’s what I learned.

1. Start from the ground up.

Before the first seed was planted my hubby and I worked the soil; turned it under, racked out roots and added amendments all to ensure the vegetable plants had the best foundation possible to grow strong. It was a lot of work with little reward other than a smooth patch of land. But as in glass and writing, when you put time and effort into good pre-work not only is the next step easier the quality of the project as a whole benefits.  

2. Patience:

After the seeds are planted my favorite thing about a vegetable garden is watching the rapid growth. Though it takes weeks for the plants to produce, you see noticeable change, development every day. Skill building in glass and writing takes time. Focus and be proud of even small accomplishments, they are the building blocks that’ll lift you up to the level you want to achieve. 

3. Try something new:

We planted okra and radish seeds for the first time.  They’re two vegetables I could live without but was told they flourish this time of year. Truth is, no matter what we plant once it pops up I’m enamored and can’t wait to share it in a new recipe. In glass and writing it’s rewarding to expand your experience, step out of your comfort zone and try something new because good or bad it all leads to growth.  

Though there was sweating involved, a lot of bending and the constant threat of a blister on my thumb, after working in the garden I felt productive, rejuvenated, inspired. It was, Ah-h, like clicking the refresh button on my brain. 

Whether you have a big back yard or just a narrow window sill the thrill is the same. Go on, get down to earth.

Grow something!