Come with me as I recall this story…….
It’s May 1987, just two months before we’re to get married. There are tons of plans going on for the wedding. Three of the four bridesmaids live out of town, their dresses are each being sewn by different people and they will not be arriving until the day before the wedding. With everything else mostly firmed up, we turned our attention to our newly rented house and the beautiful yard.
The house was small but just the right size for what we needed to start out. However, the yard was huge. The house sat on one normal size lot, then a large 6’x12’ raspberry patch led to the second half of the lot that was all grass. This second lot would be a perfect spot for a garden! We loved being outside and wanted to grow our own food. Neither of us grew up with large gardens but we thought, there can’t be much to this gardening thing!
We set out to mark the dimensions of the garden – figuring out all the different vegetables we wanted – corn, potatoes, beans, peas, carrots, onions, tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, cucumbers. We had so many vegetables we knew we needed a large garden. The stakes were pounded in the ground and we were set! Now, to borrow the tiller from his parents and off we go. Before we began tilling, my future mother in law came over to look at what are plans were for our new garden space. I remember the following moment like it was yesterday…….
She walked around the staked out area, looked at the raspberry patch, looked at us and barely said anything. Then we asked, “so what do you think?” With her hands on her hips, looking over the future garden space she so politely said, “I think it might be too big for your first garden and a lot to take care of, especially when the wedding is coming up.” We both looked at her with young, foolish, hopeful intention and said, “no it’s not, we want all these vegetables and need this amount of space.” She added, “remember you need to also pick all these raspberries and it looks like there will be lots of them this year.” Again, we looked at her and said, “we’ll take care of it, don’t worry.”
Come back to the present, close to some 30 years later to a conversation I had with my son and daughter in law about gardening……
“Mom, here’s what we’re thinking about for a garden space next year up at the farm, what do you think?” from my enthusiastic son, who as a young boy hated, I need to emphasize that more HATED, the garden! I began asking a few questions and had already visited the farm where he showed me the current space and said it was way too small for all the vegetables they would want to grow. After asking a few more questions and getting answers that sounded so familiar from years past. I had a déjà vu moment when my mother in law so politely said “you may not want to make it so big for your first garden.”
Having a second to make a decision on my response, I chose, as my loving mother in law did so many years ago, said “I think it might be too big and a lot to take care of, especially for your first garden.”
Today, I leave you with these thoughts – young, enthusiastic thoughts are what keep us stretching for the unseen and striving for things we do not know. As you grow older, limitations seem to be more prevalent and confinement seems to be second nature.
I need to allow others to grow and make choices, learn and find out on their own. I need to take joy in being asked to be part of their idea process and simply love that they are willing and interested in dreams.
The challenge for all of us is to respect others ideas, dreams and goals even when our experience and wisdom may have a different perspective!