One of my dreams is to grow much of our own food, I have decided that 75% within 5 years is a laudable goal. Last year we managed to harvest enough raspberries to last until this week, one small carton sun-dried tomatoes and beautiful dried beans so we’re maybe at 1%!!
We all have dreams – Do you want to write a book? Wish you could lose 50lbs? Walk the Camino de Santiago?
How do I go from 1% to 75%? I am reminded of a friend telling me “the harder I work, the luckier I get”. I guess that means I have some hard work to do (if I want to get lucky, that is).
A few months ago, in the depths of a miserable February (apparently the wettest on record since records were kept), I set to work building and filling raised beds. Damn, manual labor is tiring.
Still all I saw were empty beds, full of rich soil but nary a veg in sight.
It may be corny to insert Lao Tzu’s “a journey of 1000 miles begins with a single step” but it’s true. In order to write that book, lose that weight, walk that trail, I must first pick up the pen, say no to ice-cream, walk 5 miles in my neighborhood. We all want the glory of crossing the finish line, arms held high; it takes more than luck.
More hard work. I planted hundreds of seeds, lined the trays on top of several strings of Christmas lights, watered, took diligent notes and finally saw tiny flecks of green pop through. What an incentive, to see my efforts being rewarded; it gave me the energy I needed to keep going. I transplanted, seeded more, rotated trays. Every day I did something to nurture my dream.
Yesterday I transplanted more than 30 tomato plants, trellised 20+ pea plants, watered corn, spinach and mounds of cucumbers and melons. Three months after beginning my project I have not taken a single bite; if I’m lucky the lettuce might be edible within a few weeks.
I won’t get anywhere close to 75% this year, it’s 5 year plan for a reason. But I took a single step, perhaps more than one.
I understand the process for achieving my food dreams and have patience with myself (and with nature). So why do I struggle when my other goals seem to have stalled?
What if I were to show up for my other dreams with the same level of commitment with no promise of success? Would a single step every day get me there? Am I lucky enough to achieve my other goals?
Gotta dash…I have lots of steps to take.