It is five am and I am awake. The sun is awake. I know what I am supposed to do. Turn on the hose. Water the garden. Nourish my plants and seedlings. The soil is very rocky here. We have added lots of compost but the soil remains dry, heavy and rocky. Water is drains from the soil quickly and this was a dry spring. I know all these things but at 5 am I peek at my garden and think- it is not so bad. It can wait.
And so I throw aside everything I know about gardening and decide to not water. I decide out of laziness but I reason that there is also no need. Three pm comes and my seedlings are drooping, my transplants are well wilted and I am wondering if it is better to water now or in the morning?
The strange thing is that I did it again-for weeks actually. One morning as I was deciding not water I asked God- why am I doing this? Why don’t I just water the plants?
The answer was simple: I did not see the need.
If I define need as dried up wilting plants then I will wait until my plants are wilting to water.
In my own life I have defined need poorly. I have defined needs as near death and been proud of having so few needs.
It is dangerous for me to define need as near death. It is dangerous for me to define needs that way because that means that the things that I care about will have to be in crisis in order to recieved care.
I do not want exhaustion and depletion to be prerequisites for rest. I do not want behavior issues or problems to be what creates connection with with my children.
It flourishes because of the time and attention the gardener puts into creating a safe place for growth.
So we spend time watering. We do little things like go to the beach or nap. We read a story or take a walk . We give an extra hug at bed time or use sign language to communicate, “I love you”, across the room. This how I water the family garden.
Remember to water today.