Spring Growing Pains


I am writing to you with the fan whirring and I can still feel the warmth of the sun on my skin. Ahhh, spring! I love the alternating days of warmth and crisp cool breezes. I find it incredibly refreshing! With the time change you can really feel the shift in the light growing longer and longer as we edge towards Summer Solstice. The hours of extra light are full of energy and projects out in the garden. Once again it is the garden that asks to be shared with you.

As you may know, we have been working to bring seedlings to sprout and blossom. Oh my, have I been smitten with the image of wildly open and luscious petals of sherbet poppies. I mean, like really besotted. As you know, I have been moving them around the house, warming them over the stove at night during winter, placing them out in the sun and slowly things were happening. Maybe they weren’t as big as they could have been at 7 weeks, but they were delicate and bright green with possibility. They were really enjoying the string of warm days and I was starting to plan placing them in ground. I even bought one of those little cedar fences to cordon off a part of the yard. So yeah, it was like that.

Our “kitty”, Sophie, loves sunny spots in the house. (She’s a grown cat but we still refer to her and her sister, Bijou as “kitties”, because why not?) Sophie has been peacefully sharing these sunny spots with little pots and trays of seedlings since January. It was going really well - a bit crowded perhaps, but it was working out. That is until this week. Sophie also loves to eat plants almost as much as she loves sunning. I was moving the poppies over the weekend and it seemed like some were missing. I thought perhaps I had imagined it, but then this morning there was just a couple seedlings left. Just to be sure, I nestled them in a new sunny spot - not a Sophie spot - and left for work. When I came home later, all the poppy sprouts were gone. It looked as if nothing had ever happened in the dirt. Seven weeks of tending just gone. Not one feathery petaled poppy was in our future this Spring. I had been so determined to succeed with these challenging seedlings. It came as a bit of a blow.

I realized in that moment that I was garnering a deeper understanding of Spring. At first glance, Spring can seem all sexy and beautiful with flowers and color and possibility and renewal. It is all of those things, and there is more. It takes a lot of work to break out of the seed, send a shoot, break the surface of the dirt, grow towards the sun, hope for nourishment and move towards blossoming. A lot can go wrong along the way. Squirrels can empty out your freshly seeded pots to hide peanuts. You can add a bit too much plant food. You can give the seedlings too much sun. You can prune what appears to be a dead leaf and end up killing the whole seedling. (Sorry, Zinny!) Your cat can eat all of your hard work in a matter of seconds. In some ways it makes it that more miraculous that anything grows at all!

I have been thinking about how Spring also asks us to keep letting go. This time of the season asks us to let go to make room for what is growing. The void of winter can create space for little seeds of dreams and hopes and we plant them with visions of a vibrant blossom in the sun. What do we do when the seed never roots itself? What do we do in the creative process when things don’t go as we imagine? How do we honor the places within that are alive even when they aren’t aligning with the fantasy we originally had?

We haven’t told you about the bee balm - it’s still hanging in there! Last weekend we also planted some nasturtium seeds and in one week they are boldly raising their heads and looking very strong (check out the photo below). They are so different than the other whisper thin shoots of the poppies and zinnias. It has us caught up with hope all over again.

These little ones are raring to go!

These little ones are raring to go!

This kind of subtle tuning to the energy of the season helps me understand and work with my creative process more intentionally. It helps give me space to let things have their own timing and turn the soil on a creative spark that had a lot of promise but just hasn’t developed. Sometimes we can start again which we hope to do with the zinnias, for example. Sometimes we have to cut our losses and plan how to avoid the cat eating our plant babies next year.

Rock Rose - not the fluttering big boldness of a Poppy but it’s alive and happy in our garden! : )

Rock Rose - not the fluttering big boldness of a Poppy but it’s alive and happy in our garden! : )

I am so excited about learning these different points along the seasonal wheel. It’s an important thread of my new offering called, Mystic Woman, which draws wisdom and guidance from the cycles of the natural environment and weaves them with our creative expression. I will be offering a 3 part series exploring these themes starting in June. How does the life/death/life cycle influence your creativity? How do you know where you are in the wheel? How can you intentionally work the with cyclical energy to move past blocks? I will be sharing more soon. Until then, how is this moment in Spring alive for you?