Spring is Coming
I know it is super cold in much of the country, but there are sure signs of spring if we are paying attention. The minutes of sunlight are increasing each day and seed catalogs are arriving in the mail.
If you are not a gardener, it might be hard to understand the excitement of seed catalogs, but many of us can spend hours pouring over them, reading descriptions, and circling new and interesting varieties. I found a King Tut Purple Pea that is rumored to have been taken out of King Tutankhamen’s tomb after 5,000 years. How can I not order that?
And then there is the Malawi Malachite Green Bean that has the iridescent shimmer of malachite. It looks almost too pretty to eat. I’ve considering a gorgeous red amaranth for my newly cleared area at the back of the yard. And I’ve tagged a purple broccoli that produces shoots instead of heads (easier to harvest) and stands up to the Denver summer heat. I could go on and on.
I have an image of myself as not very consumer oriented, and it’s true that I don’t care much about clothes or the latest cultural “must haves”. But show me a seed catalog and I want almost everything I see. Next I want to dig up more garden space and manifest a team of elves to help me manage it all. There really is a lustful and addictive quality to gardening, or maybe just to seed purchasing! Eventually I have to circle around to reality and limitations. And that brings me to the mindfulness focus words for the week: accepting limitations.
Sometimes limitations can feel negative. They are the wall that separates what can be from what cannot. Certainly we can work on overcoming negatives. But if it is truly something that can’t be changed, we might consider consciously embracing it, rather than railing against it.
The Positive Side of Limits
My garden space enables me to grow many things, but not everything. So the first part of accepting limitations is being thankful for the space I do have. This is not a resigned thankfulness, but a deep gratitude for every single plant in my garden and everything that gardening gives to me: joy, beauty, food, connection.
The restricted space also allows me to tend to the plants most important to me and devote my time and energy to them. I can fantasize about unlimited space, but how could I truly appreciate all of the different and unique plants in my garden if there were no boundaries? Limitations create a circle in which we can act and have influence. Without parameters our energies can float away and be less effective. It can be hard to see sometimes, but limitations allow us to hone our skills and deepen our focus.
In working with accepting limitations this week I want to be especially aware of the gifts of limitations, in my garden and throughout my life.
For more information on weekly Mindfulness Focus Words, click here.