Fertile Void


It’s official, Southern California has had its first days over 75 degrees in 2019, and we are ready to start spring seedlings. Perhaps it’s too early? It is January after all. It’s hard to tell, but after weeks of rain, the earth is soft enough to be worked with, which can be rare! This can make our planting schedule a bit different than in other parts of the country, and if you add in global warming, it seemed like a good time to try for seedlings. I am holding visions of bouncy, vibrant spring flowers.  Fingers crossed!!

After a fun afternoon of dirty hands and some of the tiniest seeds we have ever seen, we planted Bachelor’s Buttons, Clary Sage, Zinnias, and Poppies. The Clary Sage and Bachelor’s Buttons we planted in pots outside. The others need a bit more TLC and we have them inside in the tiniest of starter pots.

It’s only been a few days and we are already in that phase where you wake up every morning and rush to see if anything has happened overnight while whispering encouragement to the damp soil. Maybe that's just us? Right now it's hard to tell what's going on in there. Are they getting enough water? Did we do this too freaking soon? Is the sun shining on them enough? Is anything going to grow? Are poppies too difficult to for us? Have our cats eaten any fresh shoots of green while we were asleep? You know, important questions. We are eagerly awaiting some kind of sign that the process is moving forward. I mean, it’s been 2 days!

As I write this, I can feel in my bones, that it’s such good practice to be in this process. We are feeling similar to these tiny pots of fertile soil these days. We have some creative sparks alighting within us but the movements within are subtle. From outside the creative process, you might wonder, what's happening in there?? Anything??? It's hard to be patient sometimes, even if you see the sparks.

We have intentionally carved out space to give our creative selves a chance to go fallow and it’s harder work than you might think. While the time we have spent “going dark” is already proving itself to be supportive, we are programmed to DO DO DO. So this means when I have a wisp of an idea come to me while in the shower or washing dishes - water is a key element for me - it’s only a wisp. The part of me that is programmed to DO DO DO, wants the idea to be fully formed. I want to know how it’s going to take shape and have a plan to put it into action. Today.

Here is where the practice comes in. I get to practice holding the wisp of an idea, that spark of creativity and let it be a spark. I get to build comfort with the fact that there is more unknown than known right now. In other words, I have to be okay checking in on my idea while it’s in a tiny bit of damp soil, and seeing nothing but soil. I have to be okay with singing to it, showering it with sunshine & water, and whispering encouragement. I have to trust that somewhere in the dark, the seed of my idea is getting the nourishment it needs to build the energy to become



Oh, is that a practice! Winter is such a good time to flex these patience muscles and I am grateful for the seasonal backup to help show me how it’s done. And so, we will keep up the practice of patience, the practice of tending, and the practice of creating space for what is currently unknown to become known. We will hold the vision of those happy blooms in the spring breeze while also taking Winter up on its invitation to build deep presence with what is.