Over the past few weeks, I have been watching facebook glumly as everyone else harvested and ate what they were growing in their gardens.
I was happy for them! I was.
I miscalculated how sunny the spot was where I planted my second garden bed.
Something got into my beds right after I planted – and rearranged the seeds that I had painstakingly gridded out on paper.
Beetles have made a feast of my dino kale, leaving me with nothing but skeletized stalks.
Something dug holes in my garden, costing me a cucumber plant, a tomato plant, a sage plant, and at least a dozen rainbow carrots.
For weeks it seemed like the only thing thriving was spaghetti squash…I mean really. It has taken over most of the bed it is in.
I mean, sure. We harvested and ate lettuce and spinach! But I told myself that didn’t really count. It’s easy. It’s just a leaf! No fruit of any kind.
Watching things grow from seeds is grueling. Watching something rearrange my carefully drawn garden grids was heart-wrenching… Because then I knew perfection was out of reach.
And we all know that that something is only worth doing if you can get it perfect the first time!
Oh…that’s right. Did I mention that this is my first garden? The first time I have planned and selected seeds and planned the soil mix and built beds with my husband and kept up with the watering and the weeding?
But I was so worried about perfection that I almost overlooked the awesomeness of the process. That on Memorial Day weekend, I had two boxes of dirt. And now I have two boxes of dirt with food and almost-food popping out of it. Blossoms everywhere.
Today, I wandered out to judge myself a little more while Eric watered the garden. Imagine my surprise when I was practically accosted by beans! They were everywhere. I started picking them as fast as I could, muttering, “I can’t believe it! We did it. We really did it!”
And you know what? It was really satisfying. And I had to stop myself from saying it didn’t count because it wasn’t a tomato or a cucumber.
Because even if nothing bears fruit, it’s worth it for the practice. For the discipline and the quiet satisfaction of doing the nightly watering, of digging fingers in the dirt, of watching the sun in the sky. It’s worth it to try something new, even when you don’t know what the heck you’re doing.