Most mornings, when I step outside with my coffee, I deposit my laptop on the table and from the far corner of the deck, survey what I can see of the gardens. We have lived here for five years and this is the first year I did not buy any plants to add to the garden. It is full and lush and green. The morning glories I started from the seeds of the single morning glory plant I received for Mother Day last year are climbing everywhere. I am in the bubble of my small world. I love it.
Yesterday morning, the bird feeder had been empty of sunflower seeds, so I filled it up and sat down to write. The birds are used to me now, so come quiet close. Harried sparrows fling seeds onto Sadie as she sleeps on the deck below, oblivious.
I opened my laptop and turned it on and sat back to wait for it to boot up. I frowned, noting a conspicuous gap in my garden.
I went to investigate.
My small world perfect bubble of creative space, fashioned by weaving together bird song, the sound of leaves swaying in the fresh morning breeze, the warmth of the emergent sun creeping into the yard and the smell of the coffee in my hand, was shattered by my own voice!
What the hell!!! (intake of breath upon realization) Those little greedy buggers! They could not even wait until I filled the feeder this morning!
Laying at my feet was the mangled remains my three, used to be towering, sunflowers. They had recently started to go to seed and I was excited to harvest them ---to use in the winter---to feed the squirrels! I do not mind buying the food but when some of the seeds had made it to the garden, and actually began to grow, I found it very satisfying to see a plan form. (see cool graphic)
Like the morning glories, the power of nature—from one seed, bounty will grow.
So, I yanked the stems out of the grounds and tossed them on the compost heap and told everyone in my small world about the injustice and the nerve of these squirrels to mess with the plan.
It was only later, when describing it out loud to my oldest son, that I realized something that translates to my recovery. (sometimes the universe slips in these messages and you have got to be open to receiving them – otherwise you are just some looney swearing in your garden in the morning, inventing one more thing to feel outraged or depressed or sad or hurt about).
So what if the damn squirrels ate the whole sunflowers! The feeder was empty, so I guess they got impatient. But, well I was going to feed them with the seeds anyway I guess. I planned to harvest the seeds and then put them out in the winter. Cycle changes a bit but…the squirrels harvested their own I guess…saving me a step. They actually improved the timeline and cut out the middle management in the processing and shipping department.
So lesson learned, and one my dad was fond of reminding me. If you want to make God laugh, just tell Him your plans.
- This was a lesson to remind me I cannot be in control of all things.
- This was a lesson to remind me sometimes the plan does not unfold the way you expect, but you can still achieve the same thing.
- This was a lesson to remind me I am not in control of all things in my small world sometimes even though I like to think I can maintain sanity and control if I stay in my small world more often than not.
I can influence things in my small world (like my kids, The Spouse, my garden, my dogs, the squirrels, the birds….) but I am not in control of them. There are other forces acting on them. I work really hard to instill good values and bring love and humor and common sense into practise with my family…but they will have to make their own decisions and the consequences will be theirs. Instilling common sense in squirrels, or trying to increase their EQ buy delaying gratification on the seeds is just dumb—and makes me laugh to think I thought I was in control of all that!
It is a lesson in letting go of things I cannot control…and a reminder to continue to try to stop trying.
Thank you squirrels and sunflowers and universe. I AM listening….