lessons learned: planting seeds and permission granted

Be gentle with yourself.  You are a child of the universe no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

~Max Ehrmann

One of my greatest pleasures is the first day I plant seeds in their jars.  It is more than just a task, it is a ritual.  I enjoy taking my time to document and photograph, to make lists and labels, and to just be in the process.  I’d been craving that time since the seeds arrived, but had yet to find it.

This past Saturday night, tired after a long day of housework, I was determined to start my seeds.  You see, after years of living in the same home, I’ve observed the patterns of light through Spring, Summer, and Autumn, and I’ve learned that planting some of my crop indoors this early maximizes the produce yield.  The circumstances on Saturday night weren’t my wished-for opportunity, but the job needed to get done so I packed my daughter off to a slumber party and started to work.

I gathered my supplies and set up the rows of containers with their seed packets.  The activity was more methodical and less intentional, and I quickly and efficiently accomplished the task.

Then I stood there feeling empty.  Yes, I had attained my goal, but at what cost.

Life can be full.  Not necessarily good or bad per say, just full.  I parent, I work, I teach, I preach, and sometimes, in the midst of all of that, I forget to be gentle with myself.

Just as we care for family, friends, and the Earth, so too must we care for ourselves.  Part of that care includes slowing down, nurturing the spirit, and resting the body.

That night as I entered my bedroom, I took a moment to look at a piece of art over my reading chair.  It’s a Kelly Rae Roberts piece that says, “Let it go (permission granted).  and be gentle with yourself.”   I’ve adopted that as my personal mantra for this part of my journey.  I hope you will consider granting yourself permission to do the same.

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