All of the rain we've been having has set my gardening schedule back a bit. I guess I've forgotten how frustrating it is when you are gardening in an actual garden and Mother Nature determines what goes on out there, not me. When I was container gardening on my porch, I took the role of Mother Nature and made all of the decisions about what went where, how much water each thing got, and what was in each and every pot. Which brings me to my latest dilemma .. an unmarked packet of seeds. I found them in the bottom of a little gardening bag that I keep seed packets in. They must have fallen to the bottom. All that is there is a little white packet that was obviously inside a larger packet with the name of the plant on the outside. There is nothing remarkable about those seeds that would help me to know what they are so that I know what to do with them. If I don't know what they are, I won't know the best place to plant them so that they can grow into all that they can be.
I came across a quote from Parker Palmer this morning that struck me as being an example of this very phenomena in humans: "Before you can tell your life what you want to do with it, you must listen to your life telling you who you are." I think women have a harder time with this then men do. We go through our lives fulfilling a number of roles - daughter, sister, girlfriend, wife, mother, grandmother - as if we were a progressive garden planted so that when one season is done, the next one takes over. When do we actually get to sit down and ask ourselves who we are so that we can determine what we want to do with our lives?
For years, I struggled with the idea of wanting to become a writer. It wasn't until I read something by a fine young writer names Jeff Goins that I realized I would never "become" a writer until I started saying, to myself and everyone else, "I Am A Writer." Once I finally listened to my life telling me who I was, I was finally able to decide what to do with it. Now, almost three years into my blog and two published e-books later, when life (or anyone else) asks me who I am, I tell them, "I Am A Writer." Writers write. That's what I'm doing with my life.
The same holds true for gardeners. Gardeners garden. So this gardener will put a few of those seeds in a little pot and experiment with them in different lights until they can hear their own inner voices telling the who they are. Then they will do what they were meant to do: grow up tall and reach for the sky.
And so it is.