Seed companies know the gardener’s heart. After the big push through the major holidays and cold and snow, a gardener’s thoughts turn toward spring and the garden yet to be. The seed folk know and they send their multi-colored catalogs filled with new possibilities and old surety’s.
A new one came the other day from Territorial Seeds in Oregon. It has an interesting format and varieties I’ve not seen before. Getting these catalogs has made me think about the New Year since one clear intention (not a resolution) for 2014 involves the garden. That intention is to give this new garden, a fresh opportunity to learn and practice, the very best care I can. It includes, too, planning it to fit our anticipated needs, both for eating immediately and for stores in the pantry.
All of which led me to the photograph posted above. It’s a long distance shot with my cell phone so it’s not the greatest resolution, but can you see the white shape in the distance beyond the Norway pine? That is an observatory. I’ve mentioned it before, our neighbor built it to house his Celestron. A number of us, maybe 20, gathered one evening and under his careful guidance, lifted the movable dome off his garage floor and carried it a hundred feet plus and set it on the rollers of the observatory’s circular base. A party was held which celebrated the achievement of this amateur architect.
I believe he had one season of use from it. Then the M.S. came. This was five or six years ago and that observatory rests out there still, waiting for the man who can no longer come and make it real. The observatory reminds me of a parable in Luke:
“Then he told them a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. 17 And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ 18 Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build larger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. 19 And I will say to my soul, Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink, be merry.’ 20 But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?” Luke 12:16-20
(The Parable of the Rich Fool byRembrandt, 1627)
Both the observatory and the rich man’s barns seem pertinent at New Years. In the first instance they remind us that our plans can be nullified in an instant. We know this of course but sometimes it helps to have concrete reminders.
More to the point are two lessons. The first is to be humble in what you expect. This does not mean don’t hope for great things, just remember that life may bend otherwise. The second, very much related to the first, is don’t allow your hopes to ensnare you, to make you captive to them. If you become ensnared, losing something hoped for can crash your world. If you hold it lightly, you can continue, change direction or start over.