There’s a moment every spring when I think I’ve cracked it. All the spring seeds are sown. The beds are neat, and the weeds so small that I can kid myself I’ve pulled them all out. I’ve even emptied the compost bins of their ‘black gold’ and there’s room to dispose of our veg peelings in them again.
And then it happens.
There’s an explosion of growth and the weeds are suddenly towering over my previous seedlings. Or a mysterious mildew appears in the greenhouse, or a late frost destroys the lush new leaves of the potato crop. There’s always something. You’d think that I’d have learned this much earlier but now, after many years of repeated lessons, I finally realise that gardening is never finished, not even temporarily.
Neither is a business, or a way of life. There’s always something. We suddenly have more work than we can cope with – or none. A new opportunity or idea raises its head and we’re thrown into a crisis of indecision or a whirl of frantic activity. The family routine changes and everything must adjust to follow suit – or the work routine changes and the family has to somehow fall into line. (This always happens the day after you find yourself thinking, “Now we’ve got the balance just right.”)
But here, in this moment of stillness as I look over the vegetable beds, I find a moment of clarity. Change is constant. We never find balance and stay there. Like riding a bike, we make constant tiny adjustments in order to stay upright.
So I’ll enjoy this time of looking over my almost-tidy, spring-poised garden, knowing it won’t last. If it did, there would be no flowers and no harvest.