Yesterday, I came home after a very hot day and spied my early start squashes and cucumbers plants withering in the sun. They were not used to this exceptionally warm weather given that they’d been outside off on and on since March. I looked at their wilted bodies and began scurrying around trying to figure out what to do. This year, I have invested too much time and energy on this experiment of January indoor gardening to let them die because of hot weather.
I scurried around trying to figure out what they needed. Water? Nope. Food? No. Light? Definitely not. Do I move them to the shade? Do I leave them be? What was the best thing to do for them? What do they need?
Ten minutes later, I had not accomplished a thing other than working myself up with concern, and it was time to go to a meeting. Argh~
Later that evening, upon my return, I noticed that the vegetables had perked up. No more seemingly stressed out plants. Their leaves gently waved at me in the breeze as if to assure me that everything was fine. They hadn’t needed moving and they weren’t dying–they had just patiently waited until the unfavorable conditions passed.
And that’s when it happened~epiphany!
A little voice whispered, “If they weren’t stressed about it, why were you?”
I reflected on recent situations where I’d spent time being more concerned about others than they were about themselves. I assumed it was my responsibility to get involved because those situations would have stressed me out.
As someone who considers herself a “caregiver,” I have struggled not to be come a “cure-giver.” I learned that term when I was trained as as Stephen Minister. A “caregiver” is someone who understands how and when to offer care as well as how and when to step back. A “cure-giver” is someone who gets so wrapped up in concern that it becomes a source of stress rather than a source of support.
That had been me recently, and thank goodness, my Creator gently told me so.
And so, as I started out to the car this morning, I took a moment to check in with the veggies. They had clearly enjoyed the cool night air, and I even noticed a new baby summer squash starting on the vine. I didn’t fret over what the hot sun might do to that tender babe today, and you know what? It opened my spirit up to the excitement of getting out in the gardens tonight and enjoying what creation has to offer.