September’s harvest moon was impressive this week if you had a chance to watch it climb over the horizon at nightfall, its abundant light matched by the mounds of zucchini squash and cucumbers gathered from our gardens. It’s harvest time and the generosity of the land is shared with family and friends throughout the county. One of the simplest pleasures in my daily life this time of year is seeing the shining faces of sunflowers. I have planted them at the end of my driveway for many years. At the end of a long day at work, on the water, or away from home, there is little chance I won’t be cheered by the joyful visage of the head of a September sunflower and its golden greeting.
Years ago I had a brief illness and a serious bout of fatigue in May and early June. Being fiercely independent, I held things together with the gossamer threads of strength I had left (and it did not occur to me to ask for a little help). When July and August rolled through, I was fully recovered and back on my feet in full, but I had not planted a garden – no vegetables, no annuals, and no sunflowers. When September came, my arrival home each day was void of that cheerful glance. My empty garden bed and the corner void of sunflowers were a constant reminder of the importance of the seeds we choose to sow.
Sometimes we are not in the position to rototill, plant the seeds, water, and weed a whole acre. When life gets busy or difficult, when we have disruption or crisis, it is not uncommon to get through with doing just that which is necessary to get by. What I learned those years ago, is how important it is to plant even just a few seeds, so when harvest time comes, and you are long past the hardest part of something, you are able to reap the rewards of even the smallest of efforts. I recognize this not just in my garden, but also in my wellness plan. When life is hectic, when crisis hits, when schedules are askew, it can sometimes feel easier to let your habits slip: maybe you sleep less, eat more ice cream, skip working out, etc. But if you plant the seeds, like an extra gym session, or committing to your water intake, or 15 minutes of stretching, whatever your little bit is, when things calm down again, there will be a harvest for you.
What small seeds can you sow when planting the big garden is too much to handle?