Continuing Life One Courageous, Common Day at a Time

Continuing Life One Courageous, Common Day at a Time by Pearl Allard (Look Up Sometimes)

Continuing Life One Courageous, Common Day at a Time by Pearl Allard (Look Up Sometimes)

“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

My garden is doing this with or without me.

If you are a real gardener, I imagine you might scoff at my garden plot. It’s not impressive – just a small strip of malnourished dirt that wraps around the back of our home. It’s supposed to be the landscaping area, except when we moved in, there wasn’t anything in it except weeds and a few hostas, so we converted it to a mix of herbs, flowers, and kitchen garden.

Planting season arrived, so I began unearthing its remains. Ripped out weeds and plants that didn’t survive the winter – good bye four varieties of basil, one variety of lavender, a rosemary plant, and some unwanted, persistent peppermint.

I was delighted I wasn’t completely starting from scratch again – one of last year’s lavender plants multiplied from palm-sized to beach ball-sized! One red and one pink Sweet Williams, each double their size, hadn’t waited to be noticed to burst into full bloom.

The chamomile bush, which had been a disastrous failure two years ago when I planted from seed – as in, it never even sprouted – was a booming success. (Or is that a blooming success? Groan.) From the small start last year, more than a half dozen additional starts haphazardly flourished, proudly waving their tiny, daisy-like heads. I transplanted them, restoring order. What transplanting makes possible! Last year was the first meagre harvest for tea. I’d sipped two or three cups, unwilling to part with my precious half-a-jelly-jar supply, until I knew more was coming.

O me of little faith.

The three formerly tentative strawberry plants now confidently sprawled, even if a bit hidden.

Even while I cleared weeds, I envisioned their replacements. Without a vision, the gardens perish? But don’t mistake me for a green thumb. My standards aren’t high: something alive, visually pleasing, and preferably perennial. (If it stays alive, that’s bonus.)

How is it I’d been so blind to the obvious? (That you have to replace weeds with actual plants.) Socrates must have been a gardener, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” While obstacles have delayed my return to the garden, the goal remains: I still anticipate planting life in place of that which chokes it out.

It’s true, my garden plot isn’t much – just a spiritual microcosm that helps me look up sometimes and focus on continuing life, one courageous, common day after another.

15 thoughts on “Continuing Life One Courageous, Common Day at a Time

  1. Blooming success! Lol! Love it! Seriously, I wish I could get half the things to grow that you mentioned. Chamomile and lavender? How awesome would that be? Love chamomile tea! And mixing it with other teas…fabulous!

    1. Melissa, something happened midway through the season and killed off the chamomile! But I did manage to get a very small amount of both. Maybe you could experiment with small pots indoors?

      1. Ha! Maybe, but I seriously have a black thumb when it comes to growing things. I’ve currently tried growing three different plants in the house. Two died for sure. Don’t know if the third will take. We don’t have good lighting or water in our house, and terrible soil outside. So its hit and miss for what plants can survive in this environment.

        In other news, I’m still seriously considering a rock garden…

          1. You know, I have considered that too. My daughter loves to paint and draw. The boys…not as much, though my youngest will if others are involved. He’s a social artist. Lol!

    1. Emily, glad to know I’m not alone! 🙂 I’ve considered asking my neighbor with the beautiful yard to come over and offer advice, but until that day, I’ll just keep chugging away.

  2. Pearl, I am not a gardener, although I think I know a weed when I see one. I keep my small garden very simple. Now my oldest daughter helps plant the silly yellow and gold marigolds. She hates those flowers, but we’ve discovered so do the bunnies, so we planted them because they last all season!

    I think having a garden is courageous. It takes some effort and a whole lot of prayer! Well, mind takes a whole lot of prayer. So I guess it makes me lookup sometimes too! 🙂

    1. Michelle, glad to know I’m not alone. 🙂 I love marigolds! Brings back happy childhood memories drying the pods in my grandparents’ garage. May you and your daughter have happy memory-making times doing this! I love what you said that having a garden is an act of courage. That’s got analogy all over it, too. So glad you shared your thoughts!

  3. This is lovely, Pearl. You always find the spiritual in the everyday. Thanks for bringing it to our attention!

    I’m a lousy gardener, too. In fact, give me a plant and it’s guaranteed to die. Hmm. Perhaps my attention is elsewhere.

    1. Diane, thank you for such kind words. I feel your pain with plants. Once, I received a mini bonsai plant for a birthday gift — loved it to death. I consider the two indoor plants that have survived me to be mini miracles! Outdoor plants stand more of a chance – they have more than me keeping them going!

  4. You got chamomile to grow! I am impressed.

    Your garden sounds like mine. Nobody’s pounding down my door to take a picture, and I can’t let myself get close enough to study other people’s gardens for the same reason I’d avoid dressing room mirrors while model types are in there. Too demoralizing. I’m thankful for what I have and that’s enough! 🙂

    Sure would be fun to have real, in-the-flesh seed/plant swaps as well as story swaps! There’s got to be something about digging in the dirt that makes your fingers itch to write. 🙂 Doppelganger!

    1. Rebekah, I wish we could share a cup of chamomile tea together! And I’d gladly share a start with you! What do you grow in your garden? Chuckling and nodding reading your comment. 🙂 Agreed!

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