Skip to main content

Patience: I Plant; God Decides.

“If you’re not killing plants, you’re not growing as a gardener.”

A gardener quoted in my local newspaper.

Patience. It’s so hard to have at this time of year in the Sacramento valley. It’s hotter than Hades, and, if you’re like me and you’ve been slowly working on making a garden out of quintessential south Sacramento valley soil – a big plot of clay and weeds -- it’s easy to be impatient when you see everyone else’s impatiens and other plants in bloom.

Patience. It’s the mantra of the novice gardener. Really, it’s the mantra of life.

I’m trying not to spend too much money on this garden, since I’m only renting this big plot of clay soil and weeds. The last time I spent substantial sums to put in a garden in a rental (which some would say is, by itself, a sign of insanity), I received a 60-day notice to quit a few days after my plants were in the ground. But my efforts to save money have lead to even more frustration – the seeds I tried to start in my home office were overtaken by mold, and the sweet broom, Spanish lavender and pink jasmine I transplanted from my brother’s house (he no longer wanted them) have pretty much up and died. Only the butterfly iris I transplanted from his house have seemed to survive.

I planted cheap gladiolus bulbs from the Dollar Tree in corners of my backyard, thinking that, hey, if they don’t grow, I’m only out a few dollars. Given my impatience and resulting inattentiveness, I’d pretty much given up on them. Oh well.

And they up and surprised me. Tender green shoots poked out where I had planted them, undaunted by the dead sweet broom plants that, had they lived, would have taken up too much space and blocked out the sun. I plant, God decides.

Isn’t that pretty much how life goes?

Emboldened by my undeserved success with the glads, I planted more of them yesterday. I even had the nerve to buy some roses that knocked me off my feet with their fragrance – Heirloom and Fragrant Cloud. Who knows? Maybe I’ll have some success with them, too. But I will have to learn to be as patient with them as with everything else in my garden. I plant, God decides.

Even the liatris bulbs I planted after my first round of gladiolus bulbs are starting to peek out. I had given up on them too, concluding that my dog had probably peed on them and killed them. Female dog urine is a powerful thing. It’ll take out whole patches of your lawn if you let it. I plant, God decides.

I also have to learn to be patient with people I care about. To overcome the urge to shake the living shit out of them when they don’t understand that what I’m trying to urge them to do is for their own good, not mine. I have to take a step back and ask myself, “Who made me queen?” Sometimes people aren’t ready for the message you’re trying to give them, and you can’t make them any more ready by being insistent or persistent. I plant, God decides.

Patience. A good garden, and a good life for that matter, requires it.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Hillary Clinton Can Stop Trump -- If She Releases Her Electors

Hillary Clinton isn't going to be President of the United States.  At least not yet.  And not in 2017.

But she can possibly stop Donald Trump from being President by releasing her pledged electors  in the Electoral College to vote for a compromise Republican candidate.

This is part of the strategy of the Hamilton Electors, members of the Electoral College who see that Donald Trump is not qualified to be President.  They argue that the Electoral College's role is not to rubber-stamp the popular vote -- which, in this case, would belong to Clinton -- but to serve as a check on the popular vote to make sure that no one who is unfit assumes the office of President.

According to the Hamilton Electors, named for Founding Father Alexander Hamilton (Yes, he of the very popular musical for which I can't get tickets) Hamilton stated that the Electoral College's test for fitness to be the President was as follows (and I'm quoting):

Election of a Qualified Person: As Hamilton s…

Retired Man Walking: Too Young to Retire, Too Old to Take Shit

A while back I ran into a friend and fellow professional employed by the State of California, and he offered me his perspective on State employment as a tail-end Baby Boomer like myself -- someone who can't retire because he lacks the requisite age or years of service, but, unlike myself, is tired of taking shit from superiors who don't know what to do with you.

Although my friend gave his permission for me to use his name in this blog entry, I decline to do so because what he does is so specialized that it would not be hard for anyone to identify him as one of the few African American men, if not the only African-American man, in California state civil service who does what he does. For purposes of this blog entry, I will refer to him as he now refers to himself:  Retired Man Walking.

Retired Man Walking, or RMW, has an interesting philosophy he applies to working for the State as a professional who isn't old enough to retire but has been around long enough to know the s…

My Prayer and Mantra for 2017 -- Do Not Waste Time on People and Things That Don't Matter

In this era of fake news, fake political candidates, and fake people all around, my prayer and mantra for 2017 is simple:  Do not waste time on people and things that don't matter.

In 2016, I spent too much time and money on things and people who didn't matter.  I allowed myself to become distracted by stuff that, for me and Black Man Not Blogging, didn't really matter for our happiness.  These distractions not only didn't improve the quality of our life together; they decreased it with additional and unnecessary stress.

The good news is that, for the most part, we're okay.  Yeah, Trump and his ilk really suck, but instead of a lot of hand wringing and commiserating, I'm going to do the one thing my late mother She Who  Is Exalted (SWIE) did better than anyone I know:  Play the hand you've been dealt.  My mother was a black female without a college education and with six kids, so playing the hand she was dealt was her survival skill.  Now it will be mine.

S…