Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Nothing Undone

“It was a perfect day
For sowing; just
As sweet and dry was the ground
As tobacco-dust.

I tasted deep the hour
Between the far
Owl’s chuckling first soft cry
And the first star.

A long stretched hour it was;
Nothing undone
Remained: the early seeds All safely sown.

And now, hark at the rain,
Windless and light,
Half a kiss, half a tear,
Saying Good-night.”

- Edward Thomas, Sowing

My sister gave me some advice that’s worth noting. In trying to console me for the fact that my date for the Freshman dance all those years ago was t-boned by an ambulance running a red light the day before the dance, and from there my life pretty much went downhill, she said I should stop trying to be perfect. The bunny statue in the long light of this picture has a puzzled expression on his face as he looks at a sign amid the potatoes that says "harvest". Not such a perfect outcome from his point of view.

Her advice? I think that we “…would be well served to eliminate… the reverence that we hold for being perfect, always right, and in control. If its one thing I've learned the hard way over the last 10 years of my life it is that we have no control, that's an illusion. And I suspect that trying to control everything makes us less open - open to whatever is out there for us to take in.” The bunny agrees.

Now, granted, this sister is not always right, and in fact, some say she’s a wack-job. But I think she is here. Right that is, not a wack-job. I spent today planting my cool season vegetable starts: red cabbage, purple broccoli, some cauliflower whose name I’ve lost. A storm is predicted to start by tomorrow afternoon. Since the pictures of tiny plants sprouting from mulch aren't pretty, here's a picture of the cotoneaster in the long last hour of the afternoon.

The early seeds all safely sown, now I wait for the rain. And stop worrying about being perfect. That’s a relief on two counts.

1 comment:

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

My perfectionist tendency dictates vigilance. "Perfect is the enemy of good enough."