Time, that is. A staffing issue at work as September marches relentlessly closer and we get busier daily, and days lost to feeling crummy (in part because of the prescribed antibiotics which are almost worse than the illness!) have left me wishing I'd planted at least one bed of seconds this Spring. Why, imagine if I could be out there right now pinching off a few minutes here, digging up an hour there! How awesome would that be????
When time gets short, writing is the first thing to fall by the wayside. I come home too tired to do anything but stare into space and hug the critters. But having made a commitment to the Sagewoman blog channel, I snuck a little time away from chores to do a post. And now I'm going to cheat a bit, and rather than write new content today for this blog, I'm going to do a cross post. I know many of you aren't of the Pagan persuasion, but I like to think this post below has something to offer, even if you change Goddess to God, Her to Him.
And I promise to do an original Confessions post later this week! Wishing you a gentle week...
A Different Harvest
We're researchers, Linda and I. We don't just grab a bunch of seeds, stick 'em in the ground and wait. No...we think it to death, researching heirlooms, tracking down companies with organic seeds, amending our soil, measuring rainfall. We were the same way with getting chickens. I knew what breeds I wanted because I spent hours comparing the merit of Australorps versus Orpingtons. We built the coop to ensure the appropriate roosting space, and spent hours discussing placement of the nest boxes versus the roost. I have this idea I need to do things perfectly. A mistake at work costs me lost sleep and spiking blood pressure. A botched dinner prompts numerous apologies to Linda (who honestly couldn't care less), and when my sons run into life's walls, I just assume it was a flaw in my parenting that is causing them anguish. As for my writing skills, well, no one is a more brutal critic than I. Yeah, bring on that cat o' nine tails and hair shirt!
So when all that research is done, when we've planted things just so, in perfect organic soil, with organic fertilizer, watered exactly as we should, provided just the right sunshine, it's kind of a rude slap when the harvest is...well, nada. This year forty heirloom tomato plants yielded a grand total of a dozen cracked and blemished tomatoes. Our peas barely produced. Heck, even my kale tanked! Seriously-who can't grow kale? The gardening year started with such promise, and is winding down with anything but a fireworks display of produce.
But we did have a harvest. You know what grew this year? The fruits and flowers we didn't touch. As I write this, I'm snacking on sweet, juicy grapes, that aside from a March pruning, never received a moment of care. We never even got around to covering them to keep away Japanese beetles. In the freezer, there's a tray jam-packed with blueberries from the bushes we haven't fertilized or pruned. The garlic hanging to cure above the living room window was planted last Fall, covered with straw, and untouched (except for harvesting their scapes) until two weeks ago. Coneflowers, black-eyed susans and morning glories fill the yard with color, but we didn't plant them this year or last. We just let them be.
And so it can--and sometimes should--be in our walk with Goddess. Many of us have created or shared in elaborate rituals; even when solitary, we've smudged, cast the circle, invoked the elements, tossed in more than a few thees & thys. We've chosen the right colors and written poetry, researched which aspect of Her to call upon. Perhaps the ensuing ritual was profound and mystical, took us to a deeper place with Her and ourselves. and that's good. But it's so easy to over think, to strive for the perfect prayer, perfect ritual; it's easy to lose sight of what we seek because we're lost in the planning.
There's a peace that comes with stepping outside with your coffee first thing in the morning and raising it in toast to the One that gave us that morning. There's a simplicity and contentment that comes from taking a walk in the woods and just having a conversation with Her. The whispered thank you breathing from our lips as we fall asleep can be the perfect prayer. The mundane can become the sacred with our intent; as we put our gardens to bed and preserve our harvests for the Winter to come, we can ask Goddess what in ourselves, in our lives, can be preserved or put to rest. We can wash the dishes or organize our desks while singing our favorite Goddess chants. I'm blessed with a short commute to a less than ideal job, and often use that morning drive to say a prayer and ask a blessing for the day (sometimes, it's simply Goddess, give me strength !).
Don't let your mind shout over your heart and soul. Choose one small act to bring Her into your here and now without perfect words or the right incense blend. Just one. Maybe tonight, when you lock the doors before bed, whisper a hello to the waxing Moon and ask Her to shine on and protect your hearth and home. Take just one moment to see and feel Her with no preparation. I promise, you'll reap far more than you've sown!