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spring was supposed to be a time to sow!

December 8, 2010

Even though we have moved into the first days of summer, today feels a bit like the first days of spring. Cold, heavy rain has been falling for the last few days and after the last few years of drought nobody really knows what to do with all this water.

We expect spring to be a time of beginnings, often ‘new beginnings’.  A time when we sow for the coming summer. We head off to the store to buy seeds and seedlings to plant in the expectation of reaping a summer harvest. We put away the winter blankets expecting warmer nights, we get the bike out of the shed in preparation for our spring exercise regime, pay a visit to the barber or hairdresser to trim the winter growth …

Weed in seedBut we forget that before we can sow we must reap the harvest from autumns and winters past. If like me you wake up one day to find spring has passed by, you also need to deal with the stuff that has established itself in the last few months. Our hair is not the only thing that has been growing unnoticed!

Before you can plant out your hopes for new growth in the spring you have to reap the harvest of your neglect and the winter weeds.

It strikes me that habits are a lot like that.

If you don’t deal properly with the habits you want to get rid of it is almost impossible to establish new ones in their place. It is no good just running a metaphorical lawn mower over the top of them. On the surface it might look like things have changed, that things are under control, but it only takes a week or two of a busy life to take your focus elsewhere and the old habits come back stronger than ever.

They say that ones year’s weeds gives seven years of seed. The message in that for me is “do your work now” – get down on your hands and knees and work on the roots. It’s hard work. It’s dirty work and there are times when the weeds seem to spring up faster than you can remove them.

There is no obvious reward for you at the end of each day but the rewards are obvious. Your labour will loosen the soil and turn it over so that it is ready to support whatever you might want to establish.

But some words of warning…

  • Think carefully about what you want to grow. Only the weeds don’t need tending. If you plant the seeds of something new – be prepared to put in the work to nurture it until it is established
  • Don’t wait until next year to do the work you know you need to do now. By then something else will have grown in its place. Besides, I don’t want to hear about your New Year’s resolutions and you know I will not be telling you mine!
4 Comments leave one →
  1. Susie Surtees: EXPLORE Creative Life Design permalink
    December 8, 2010 7:56 am

    Reminds me of the words of Voltaire’s character Candide ‘il faut cultiver notre jardin’ – we must cultivate our garden. A beautiful piece planted with sensitive growth imagery – leavened with some gentle warnings. A timely reminder to parallel our growth with that of our gardens.

    • December 9, 2010 9:05 am

      Thanks Susie. I love the quote. It raises the question of the boundaries of our garden. I was at the beach yesterday and walked past a couple who were weeding an area of revegetation – they looked like they were regulars who had a much wider view of the extend of the garden that we all share. It is a beautiful spot and will only stay that way if we all take responsibility for it.

      Susie regularly blogs at

      • Susie Surtees: EXPLORE Creative Life Design permalink
        December 9, 2010 10:18 am

        The image of the couple weeding the revegetation area made something sparkle in me. Nature awareness, or rather the awareness that we ARE nature, and deeply connected to everything (sounds trite and new-agey to some, but it’s real) is something that is being missed by many these days in the race to accumulate STUFF and to live ever more complex virtual lives (get me off this computer!).

        Your idea of a wider view of a shared ‘earth’ garden, is a beautiful way of describing both the mind place and the physical place where we can really flourish. The places we need to be if we are to honour our complex animal nature and origins. Thank you.

  2. Susie Surtees: EXPLORE Creative Life Design permalink
    December 8, 2010 10:32 pm

    Shared on my FB page.

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