This month at See Jane Publish, we’re talking about defining success. Success is such a subjective standard, I’m not even sure what conclusions we’ll come to — except maybe “We’ll know it when we feel it.”
Recently on my author blog, I posted about feeling like a failure because I hadn’t been writing. While I’m back on the writing chain gang, I’m still not up to speed so I’m feeling like less of a failure, but I’m still not feeling like a success. As a member of the maker/creative class, if I’m not creating and making, I don’t feel good.
But spring has come early to my few square feet of Oregon soil, so it’s gardening time. Which is a great place to remind myself of how things grow in their time, of ebbs and flows, of productive and fallow seasons.
We planted some early greens in a repurposed fire pit. They are small and tender now, and I’ll have to be diligent about slug protection, but given some time, they’ll provide salad for months until they go to seed in the heat of summer.
We also built a new strawberry bed out of some old lumber. Half Hood strawberries (which are only June bearing but supremely tasty) and half everbearing, this one bed will need a few years to fill out. Once the plants are established, it will provide a winter’s worth of frozen fruit — smoothies! waffles! ice cream! — to tide us over to future springs.
I’m not a patient gardener (did I mention how if I’m not creating, I’m not happy?) but for strawberries, I’ll wait.
Before spreading some fresh straw for mulch, we pulled out the last of last year’s parsnips. Some will get fried up like french fries (actually tastier than you might imagine — ah, the power of oil and salt) but after a year in the dirt, some had gotten woody and went straight into the compost bin. Still, they were not entirely wasted. They’ll break down and feed some future crop.
A weekend of grubbing in the dirt reminded me that there are many paths to “making it”. Some — like salad greens — are faster than others — like strawberry beds. Some might not seem successful at all — like old parsnips. But we’ll keep plowing away at it. And as the sun set on our 2015 garden, I am reminded that tomorrow is another day, to make of it what I will.