This week I picked my first carrot.
I have been eating carrots for years, and my appreciation of their crisp, orange taste undulates as frequently as my mood. This week, I have a particularly impressive love of carrots.
I planted this teeny, tiny seed in an eighth of an inch of soil right next to its biggest contender – another seed of its kind. This was a precautionary measure in case one didn’t surface – The Backup Plan.
Just as in my garden and in yours, we are planting these itty, bitty seeds all over our lives and the lives of others. Every action is the iteration of an old or new habit, creating who we are in that very moment. The soil has provided food and nourishment for the carrot, and watering cycles have directly affected the formation of this precious root up until the day it was picked and eaten. Every day, we as people are nourished and influenced, just like my little carrot. We nourish ourselves through a positive mindset and the kind people we interact with.
Sometimes the gardener doesn’t get out to water the carrot or the sun beats down particularly harshly, just like we interpret rudeness from others or we let our self-morale sink. Bad or good, each moment has shaped how the carrot looks today, for it never stops growing and changing.
This week I am aware of just how many seeds I plant and then how I treat them. Some seeds never germinate and some of these I forget about. Some of them I shower with love, care, and affection, pleading on my knees with my hands clasped to please, please fruit, yet never to spot a seedling head.
Why does everything go perfectly sometimes, and other times nothing comes out right – even when the conditions seem to be most favorable? Why do the bugs choose to infest my most favorite vegetable plants? Why do the spinach leaves come out crinkled and small? I’m sure we could pin point reasons, but while we can guiltlessly take on the role of God in our garden, it doesn’t seem to be as beneficial when we sit and analyze our entire lives the way we do the lives of our plants.
However forgiving or unforgiving the harvest is of my hard work and forgetfulness, the garden and my mentors continue to remind me that mistakes aren’t always mistakes. Sometimes we think we aren’t doing as well as we should be or that we can only seem to fail. I challenge you, the next time, the VERY next time you want to scold yourself for being careless, take a deep breath and actively search for the benefit of your actions. It could be a lesson, even a peripheral positive for someone or something else. Let yourself allow it to be a good thing, because that’s what you can turn it in to. And hey, if it’s not alright, it’s not the end.
The carrot I picked was the only carrot out of 128 seeds I put in the ground this summer that came to life. And my, was it a tasty carrot.