I was visiting my friend, B, on Sunday and helping out in her large vegetable and flower garden in Westchester County. B’s brother has quite a bit of land around his home (especially compared to what this city mouse is used to!) and he knew she was interested in learning more about farming, so they decided to experiment with things this year. They planted so many different things and it’s really too much for 1 or 2 people to handle, which is why they’ve been asking friends to help out when they can, in exchange for lunch and bringing home some of their bounty.
Aside from the freshly picked veggies and eggs that were laid that day, I brought home a few other morsels to think on in regard to my state of mind about my artwork lately.
Since they haven’t been able to work in the garden every week, and can’t reliably entice friends and family to give up their free time in the summer, the weeds really are everywhere, but still there is stuff that is thriving; most of the plants just continue growing anyway. This reminds me about how I always have ideas, projects, and chores related to my illustration on my to-d0 list and I never seem to have time to do them all, or to ability do as much as I would like. The garden reminded me that in all of the craziness, good things (like kale and snap peas!) still happen despite the “weeds.”
I was also able to relate to something that B said about learning about gardening. She mentioned the various seed packet instructions, and how they tell you when to expect the plants to grow or at what point they will be mature for harvesting. Basically, these things take their own course depending on the conditions; weather, planting location, etc. She said that some plants took much longer than expected, but still grew in very healthy and strong. So that made me think about the fact that some ideas need time or “rest” to take on a life of their own. Not every idea can develop as planned, and the fact that an idea doesn’t take off right away doesn’t mean that it belongs on the compost pile… it just might surprise you.