Just under 3 weeks ago (19 days to be exact) I planted a whole host of vegetable plants. These were tiny plug plants that were bought on-line and which arrived on one of the hottest days of the year so far. They came with the warning that there were threats of frosts and to be ready to protect the seedlings from cold weather! So, the words on the flyer that accompanied the delivery didn’t equate to the reality! Thankfully the garden centres had reopened a day or so before so armed with a few bags of compost and some worm cast feed I went into battle with the elements to give these babies a fighting chance. After planting came the process of nurturing.
Again, the instructions and the reality were poles apart. The instructions suggested watering every two days so the tiny plants could dig deep, seek nourishment and develop strong roots. The reality was that within hours the baby plants were wilting and in need of a drink. I fought between listening to the advice or following my gut. My gut said that they needed water, I did so, and the next day the seedlings were standing upright and ready to face another hot day. Still, the instructions said don’t water, but by the lunchtime the baby plants were lying on their sides gasping for water….so I watered. We spent a good few days playing this game and eventually the watering is down to once a day and the plants are still looking healthy. The salad leaves are providing a couple of bowls a day, and the peas have pods – hurrah!
In our yoga practice we talk a lot about strong foundations. My teaching cues almost always cover the foundations for the pose – so how to set the hands, wrists and shoulders or the feet. For years I used to attend classes and rush into the posture – I was often racing ahead and there before the teacher and if I’m honest I still do sometimes rush. It’s my nature and I am goal and deadline orientated. However, when I rush into the posture I usually have to take a step back, correct myself, re-set and start again. On the times I follow my breath, take the guidance of my teacher and build upon the foundations of the posture step by step the end result is usually better and more satisfying to my goals orientated mind.
My little veg patch is a very good reminder to me that it takes a while to build strong foundations and see the fruits of the time investment. There is a quick way of getting kale, broccoli, beans and peas – it involves a short drive to the supermarket. However, once the week’s shop has been eaten there is nothing left. I am trying the slow way of building the foundations and growing my own veg which should (I hope) give ongoing results. Yoga practice is akin to this – build the foundations and watch the results. The results don’t come immediately and it can take a while to achieve that “nemesis” pose. Sometimes that pose never seems to work but the by-product of focusing on it is such that all the rest of the day’s problems/challenges, etc. melt away. As with the veg patch, it’s not really the end result that’s important (although it would be nice), but it’s more about what’s learned along the journey.