building a beautiful and bountiful world in collaboration with nature

A Potato Story

There are many times, both in and out of the garden, when all my focus is on doing. In the garden that can mean I am busy forking, digging, planting, seeding, weeding, mulching, watering, nurturing, tending, caring…. I am focused on being productive and getting things done. As a Westerner, I have been trained to take action in order to achieve results.

I do find tremendous pleasure in sinking my hands into soil that is dark and moist and rich, enlivened by the cow manure that I carried there, enriched by the goat-bedding mulch that I covered it with.  This is soil made with the help of my actions.  The more I learn, however, the more it seems that actions are like the tip of the iceberg. Yes, that’s the visible and obvious part, but is it truly the larger part, the creative part, the getting it done part?

A few weeks ago I heard a weather report suggesting we might be getting a late frost. As it happened that frost never came, but I had been planning to mulch my potatoes, which were getting to be 6-12” tall, and decided this was the day to do it and give them some frost protection in the process. I went out to the garden focused on getting it done. The mulch I pulled out of the goat shed turned out to be a little too strong. As I was finishing the last of the potatoes, I looked back at the ones I had done first and saw that the lower leaves were browned on the edges and their coloring had changed to a sickly green. I had given them an ammonia burn.

I do appreciate how clear the universe can be in its communications. It was obvious that my focus on the frost burn possibility had led me to act in a way that created a similar type of damage. I suppose the usual response would have been to rush back, pull off the offending mulch, and try to to get my work undone.  Instead I stopped and took a breath.  I could feel how disruptive my well-intentioned but oh-so-serious “getting it done” focus had been.  I could also feel that rushing to undo my work would be more of the same energy and equally disruptive.  I noticed the possibility of other choices and other outcomes waiting in that moment.

Remember! This is a quantum world. At any moment in time we can reach into that fuzzy haze of limitless possibility and choose another outcome. (My training in Matrix Energetics has made that much more real to me – thank you, Richard Bartlett!)

So, I did just that. I accepted that these plants would have some ammonia leaf burn. I could feel (not wish for, or hope for, but really feel) that they would easily recover. I felt a strong and unwavering sense of well being coming from them.  I relaxed and enjoyed that sense of health and vitality for several moments, thinking about the productive harvest to come. Then I let it all go. Walked away. Went on to other things – though with much less of a “get it done” attitude.  

I did come back later in the afternoon and saw that they all had that ammonia leaf burn, and so I just reminded myself that I had already chosen a healthy outcome.

This morning I was walking by the garden with my husband. He admired the potatoe plants, as did I. They are tall, a lovely shade of green, and with lots of flower buds developing. “Time to give them some mulch,” my husband commented. I nodded, smiling. I will be mulching them again. But I won’t be trying to get it done.

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