I think about all these things as I dream about our 2017 garden on this cold, snowy night, because I need to remember how even when things change (i.e., relationships, people, our garden plans), it can still very much bring joy and fulfillment to my life. Yes, my tomatoes didn't grow well this past summer. I didn't harvest what little spinach and lettuce I grew. And our blueberry bushes were picked clean by the birds (and probably our chickens). But, this year I had the most amazing zinnias and cosmos plants. We lacked vegetables and herbs, but we made up for that with bouquets of colorful blooms and new growth all the way into October.
I still dream about my ideal garden, but it's much easier to see what is growing and blossoming rather than focusing on what didn't take or the squash plants that always tend to wilt halfway through the season from those darn squash bugs. I love that first day in the garden, clearing away the winter mess and preparing the soil for new life. I also love seeing the plants rise from the sun and rain, growing stronger and more beautiful each week. And finally, I love the end of the season, when I have to say goodbye to my fading plants, the ones that have worked so hard all summer but their time has come to return to the soil or compost pile.
When you look ahead to new growth in your life (pregnancy, children getting older, change in relationships), or perhaps reflect on what was, see the change that happens, even the difficult or unexpected change, that needs to happen in order for you to bloom and flourish. Some of these changes don't feel good and they're not what you anticipated, but it's still harboring energy and life for what will be. And take a moment to recognize what did bloom in this season of your life, whether it was your entire garden or perhaps just one single flower that brought new life and color to your world.