More often than not, I tend to be an overly optimistic “sun-always-shining-in-my-world” kind of person. I have the ability to see the bright side of pretty much any situation.
But occasionally, I’m so overwhelmed by the devastation and destruction our world faces that it flat out throws me into a dumpy, blah, cesspool of “woe is me.” This past week was one of those times.
Earlier this week, a good friend reminded me that this year marks the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Immediately, my heart recalled the immense sadness I felt for weeks upon weeks after that dreadful September day. The dead. The missing. The fear.
And of course, the coverage of the tsunami and related destruction in Japan has my heart aching, tears rolling. And yet again, that same feeling- the dead, the missing, the fear.
Then there’s Egypt and the never-ending war and birds dropping out of the sky dying in mass for unexplainable reasons and GMOs entering our food supply at every turn (let alone all the “unsafe” food being recalled) and what’s that, the world is supposed to END next year? Really?
Many of these insurmountable problems I seemingly have very little control over, and yet, it’s hard not to feel the heaviness of it all, so much at times that it seeps into my every pore, bonding together to form a 75 pound lead -like weight chained to my leg. This week I just wanted to give up for the moment, pop my ear plugs in, put my blindfold on, crawl under the covers pleading, “STOP! PLEASE!”
Then on Tuesday, as I was taking out the bucket of kitchen scraps to my compost bin the back corner of my yard, there it was, proudly peeking out of the ground like a beacon of hope.
One lone asparagus spear. I immediately burst into tears.
I’m sure you’re wondering why I would cry over an asparagus. It’s not because it was the ONLY one ready to harvest and I was wondering how I’m going to split it between three people for dinner.
It’s that just when I was feeling lower than low, hopeless, lifeless and ready to give in, that one little asparagus reminded me of the importance and power of perseverance, resiliency, hope, trust, faith, tenacity and patience.
With few expectations, I planted that asparagus plant three years ago. The first year it was a bushy mess of fernlike stalks and leaves. No asparagus. Last season, same thing.
Asparagus plants are supposed to produce in the third season (which is this year) and as of a couple of weeks ago, the thin spindles that I trimmed back last fall were all dead, no life present. With an “oh well” attitude gardeners need to have, when seeds don’t produce or plants die, or they’ll drive themselves mad, I about gave up on my jolly green friend.
But, there it was. My one lone asparagus there to tell me everything was going to be OK. An unexpected, yet extremely comforting sign that better days are ahead. A reminder to stay optimistic, keep believing and even when all hope seems gone, to hold on a little longer and goodness just may appear when least expected.
Planting a garden is about more than just growing your own food. It’s about regaining hope in a force greater than you, in an energy that is greater than the destruction and devastation around us.
Now there are other asparagus crowns popping out of the ground, joining their lone friend as if to say, “don’t leave us yet, we’re coming to join you!”
Again, this brings a smile to my face and a gentle reminder that we are also never alone.