This past weekend, as the temperature broke 50 degrees, I worried that the plants would be fooled by a false spring and my garden be wiped out by the true winter that was sure to come.
Then, on Wednesday morning, I read this edict on Facebook, by way of Steve Bender (aka Southern Living's Grumpy Gardener).
"How can you stop this mild winter weather from causing shrubs, trees, and bulbs to bloom too early? Answer: You can't. So stop worrying about it. Que sera sera."Epiphany may be too strong of a term for what I felt reading Steve's words, but they struck a central chord in me. It certainly wasn't my first introduction to the idea that I shouldn't worry about those things I can't control. Every list of Top 20 Ways to Improve Your Life includes this admonition in one way or another.
So why did Steve's words strike me as so poignant on Wednesday morning? Steve was talking to me in terms of my garden -- that unique place in my life where freedom, expression and control exist in a most perfect harmony. The design of my garden and the work I put into are my personal expression at its most raw and unimpeded. It is me expressed through nature. My choices, my creation. But even here, there are variables beyond my control. I can't control the weather; I can only make sure I choose the right plants for our climate and give them the right location and fuel they need to grow. After that, I must learn to accept that what will happen, will happen. Que sera sera.
Understanding this in terms of my garden, I now must apply it to my life. Even in those parts of our life where we feel the most control, we don't write the entire dialog. We make the choices that both logic and our gut tell us are right. We give what we can give. Then we must do the hardest part ... let go ... and accept that what will happen, will happen. Que sera sera.