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Cycles August 9, 2011

Posted by Barbara in Gardening, Life.

It’s been hot in Texas.  Very hot.  My car showed 112 degrees the other day.  It’s taking a toll on the garden, and only the hardiest of vegetables have endured to this point.   When our water supply was interrupted for a couple of days, it spelled the end for almost everything.   I was sad to see it go until I realized that the changes I was seeing were not harbingers of the end.  Rather they were showing life’s willingness to adapt and continue.

Adapt, you say?  The sunflowers are still standing only because the stems are as thick as small tree trunks and will likely stand until we cut them down to plant the next crop.  Adapt?  Even the heat-loving watermelons have quit blooming, the vines withering almost as I watch.



But, indeed, as heat and drought have drawn the last reserves from the plants, they have pulled in their resources and put all remaining energy into preparing for the future.  Melons quit blooming and started ripening fruit like crazy – so many melons I have filled my refrigerator, inundated friends and neighbors with garden gifts and donated to the local food pantry multiple times.  The garden is not only filling my pantry with pickles, zucchini (frozen for use in future zucchini breads and frittatas), and jellies – it is also creating the seeds needed for life to return when the weather cools and the rains return.

The sunflower stalks will be chopped, composted and added back to the soil – but the seeds from the heads that are bowing so low right now, will not only give us pleasure this fall when they are salted and roasted, they will also provide seed for the new crop.  Life responds to stress by seeing to it that it has the means to continue.  The goal is not immediate – it is long-term growth and survival.

The garden hasn’t died – it has positioned itself for renewal.

Making pickles

We could apply that lesson to the current economy, among other things. Our job is not to fight for the status quo as much as it is to position ourselves for future growth and survival. Circumstances won’t look the same throughout the cycle. But beauty doesn’t belong only to the fresh green of spring.

It is just as evident in the harvest.

Nature often holds up a mirror so we can see more clearly the ongoing processes of growth, renewal, and transformation in our lives.   ~ Mary Ann Brussat



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