Landscaping is not a strong suit for me. I have a philosophy about keeping things natural, letting nature take its course without me trying to coerce it into some contrived ideal of a blemish-free dominion. I like to call it a philosophy because it sounds nobler than saying I’m just too lazy to keep my yard up.
There is a flower bed between my house and the sidewalk leading to my front porch. It goes through an untended procession each year, starting with a sea of purple flowers (hyacinths, maybe? Irises? Crocuses? ), moving into bright orange California poppies, and ending with some more bushy-type plants with small reddish or yellow blooms that reseed themselves every year. I try to pull out the grass and dandelions and thistles that try to establish themselves in the bed, but every once in a while some other plants will appear that pique my curiosity enough that I let them grow, too. I never know whether to classify them as weeds or as little marvels of nature. They do bloom eventually, and as long as they don’t take over the flower bed, I figure they have every right to reside there.
I wish I could as readily reserve judgments about other people, situations, and even myself. I have an inner critic that is quick to say what is and isn’t good, right or acceptable at any given time, and I probably miss out on a lot of “little marvels” that could be appearing in my life. I often lack the patience to see things through. If there isn’t an immediate reward I don’t wait around to see what may develop. I just write it off and move on.
I could write a bunch of metaphors about letting things take root and watching them grow until they blossom out into something beautiful. But that’s kind of lame. Instead, maybe I’ll just vow to be a little more open, to give people a chance to show their true selves, to let situations play out more, and to give myself a break and see what may come of things.
Which isn’t to say that everything should be allowed to run rampant. In the fall, I plan to dig up my flower bed and give it a thorough weeding. I will save and replant the bulbs of the as yet undetermined purple flowers, hope I don’t disturb the other flower seeds too much, and see what happens next year. It will give Mother Nature a clean slate to work with. We’ll see what pops up.
In the meantime, maybe I’ll edge my sidewalk. It will give my neighbor comfort to see that I am at least doing something to contain the clover within my yard, and it will open up the pathway for opportunity to come knocking at my door. Is that a metaphor?
All the best,