Saturday, March 30, 2013

No Expiration Date

During my novice years learning to garden, and grow myself in the process along with the flowers and veggies, I became obsessed with learning everything there was to learn on the subject. Let's face it, I came to gardening later in life and felt I had a great deal of catching up to do. So I became an ardent fan of Victory Garden and HGTV, and read every book and magazine I could find. However, some of the best education and advice I got came from the gracious women I got to know in my adopted home town. It would come in casual conversation and news shared with the neighbor next door, the ladies picking up their mail at the post office and striking up a conversation about the weather and their gardens, visits to the meetings of the historical society and garden clubs, or whoever might be hanging out in Riley's Diner over a cup of coffee. There is nothing to compare with learning about gardening from those who have it in their blood passed down from generation to generation.

One of the things I learned that surprised me the most was that seeds packets have an expiration date. Really? Who would have thought? After all, to my inexperienced eye they already looked old and dried up. How did you tell if they had "gone bad?" Did they start to smell like old milk? Grow mold like forgotten leftovers in the back of the frig? "You'll know," they told me, and indeed, I did ... when you plant them, nothing grows! Nothing like the obvious, right?

Thankfully, the same premise does not hold true for dreams: There is  no expiration date on dreams! It doesn't matter how long you've had them. True, you may have to take them down off the dark shelf of your mind where you've been hiding them all of these years and dust them off. You may even have to update them given today's technology or changing ideas. It doesn't matter if you are a novice, an old hand, or somewhere in-between. Dreams never lose their capacity to grow into something wonderful.

I think this is a perfect time to reflect on this idea as we get ready to celebrate resurrection, new birth and new beginnings. The robins are back and busy building new nests. Tiny buds are sprouting on the trees with the promise of something more to come. Gardeners everywhere are raking out the debris of the past and preparing the ground for the garden they've been dreaming about all winter.

Winter is over, my friends. Break out the gardening equipment. Dust off those dreams. Get busy.

And so it is.