To Plant a Garden

Strawberry Patches and Sunshine

What a glorious Saturday morning it was! I had wonderful plans of going to bed late and getting up late since we had a kid-free house… But then it was 6:30 and paws pat at my face demanding that I let them outside. I don’t know why I ever think that for just one night I’ll be a night owl and fight my early bird tendencies. Always falling asleep at 9:30 and waking with the sun at 5:30. It’s okay to dream, right?

Although it was an early start it was a great morning of quiet, Bible studies and a run with my husband – a good start to my day. Before leaving for our run I decided to do my ritual check up on my garden. My poppies are growing like weeds (to the point where I’ve had to remove a bunch), my daughter’s cauliflower is getting really large, and my cotton lavender is just on the verge of blooming. But what I really went out to check on were my strawberries. And lo and behold I couldn’t believe my eyes: my first strawberries of the year had ripened! I’ve been waiting for this day for months!

Last year I planted a few little strawberry plants in another section of my garden. I really had no knowledge of how to best grow strawberries but I thought that I would give it my best shot. I was ready to produce delicious red fruits of my own. Oh did I learn a thing or two! Firstly, I had no idea that strawberry plants send out shoots to create replicas of themselves. I let the plants do their thing. All of a sudden I start noticing all of these other tiny plants trying to take root in the surrounding soil.

Having strawberries all over my garden does carry a certain amount of appeal, I won’t lie. I have this dream of walking out my front door and gathering berry after berry. Yet, it’s better for them and for me if they are contained within their own space. I can’t live on a berry farm in the middle of a busy city. So to keep my berries contained, my husband built me a strawberry patch. Not just some tiny little planter with one or two. But something that is big enough to fit a small car inside (2m by 1.5m if you were wondering). By the time that I transplanted the first couple of strawberry plants and planted the new little baby offspring plants, I ended up with at least thirty plants! I moved them in the fall and have lived with the expectation of what they would become ever since.

Today as I watched my son bite into the first strawberry of the year my eyes started to water. The realisation that I did that, that I created an environment for that to grow, hit me. The hours upon hours of work in my garden are fruitfully multiplying.

“To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow.” – Audrey Hepburn

Staring at my strawberries, and every other plant growing in my garden, I was reminded of how important that lesson is for life. The hours that I devote to my passions, my goals, lifestyles, relationships, all of these will multiply and flourish in seasons to come. But let’s take a step back. What if I had never tended to that part of my garden? What if I had decided to let the strawberries be where they were; they were fine, they would have just kept growing but definitely wouldn’t have been able to multiply as they have. They never would have reached their full potential. My strawberry patch and the moment of watching my son eat the first strawberry would never exist.

I have a lot of goals for my life. There are things I’d love to accomplish, lifestyle changes I’m striving for, relationships that I want to grow. However, if I don’t put the time in now and focus on the little steps needed to reach those goals, the end goal can never be.

What grows in the future you can only exist if you sow seeds now.

Is there something in your life that you would love to accomplish? I bet there is. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small, a crazy dream or just something that would make your life easier.

What if you diligently plant one tiny little seed today that doesn’t seem like much with the expectation that that tiny seed will grow into something amazing?

Wouldn’t you do it? Wouldn’t you say that your future self and your future goals are worth the toil and discomfort now for the promises of what will grow?

What’s one thing you can do right now, today, that would be one small step in preparing the ground that would allow for the future you to thrive?

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