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The Winter Crop

New Year, New Beginnings.

A few years ago, this was not a very welcome statement. I was, in fact, facing a new year with new beginnings, except that I found myself standing on unstable ground, uncertain whether those new beginnings would prove favorable or foreboding.  We’ve all been there, it’s not a pleasant place. Amongst many things that I conjured up to manage the overwhelming anxiety of the unknown, I decided to plant a winter vegetable crop, primarily for distraction. I had no idea what it would grow (literally) to mean to me.

I benefit deeply from gardening. It’s the whole nurturing/tending/getting-your-hands-dirty exercise that really works for me and my blood pressure. Years later, I am still a novice, happy to learn from Mother Nature. Thankfully, I live in a part of the world where I am able to garden a majority of the year, so the decision to introduce a project of this nature during Resolution season was a simple one. Several unexpected and unintentional things happened immediately upon breaking ground:  

  •  I made a plan. I took my project and dissected it into tiny little pieces, down to a landscape plan, how far apart to plant my crops, to perfecting the spacing of my seeds.

  • I came at my soil with a positive attitude. I am one of those people who firmly believes that all living things benefit from words of encouragement, so I was not about to spoil my fresh garden canvases with defeatist vibes.

  • I persevered. The weather conditions weren’t perfect, I had no idea what I was doing. Nonetheless, I kept chipping away, tending, nurturing, encouraging, adjusting. I made a promise of commitment.

  • I became inspired. There is no way to describe the feeling when your first seedlings sprout and breathe life. It’s a mix of exhilaration and disbelief. And I experienced something I didn’t expect to feel this year: HOPE.

  • From inspiration to action. Mother Nature just taught me an invaluable lesson on how to come at my year.  And everything else, for that matter. It didn’t eliminate my problem for me, but it taught me how to manage and overcome them myself. It’s all there, within you.

This is how life looked mid-year:

That even inspired others to try something new:

The Winter Crop remains an annual ritual, not only because of what it sows, but because it is also a symbol of such a coveted life lesson. It inspired action to other areas in life that would otherwise have been avoided because of fear or insecurity.  Just like that, the storm was weathered and it was different, even beautiful, on the other side.

The New Year is an amazing time to inspire yourself, reinvent something that has grown stale, scare yourself a little bit with something new. Make a plan, organize it into sections, adjust, improvise, nurture, persevere. You deserve to inspire yourself.

 

Here’s to a healthy, innovative, and brave 2018.