on paying just a little attention

When I began this little gardening odyssey a month ago, I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into.  (I still don't, really.)   I was talking to my friend Laura (who has a beautiful garden), and she gave me a list of plants to try, and the following weekend Marcus, Alex and I went to a local hardware store and bought them.  Marcus built the beds, I filled them with soil & seeds, watered them, and hoped for the best.

In the days that followed, I decided that if I was going to do this, I should do a little research, so I logged on to Google and promptly got completely overwhelmed.  I read about adding nitrogen to soil, and making organic garlic water to control pests, and when I finally got to the article that promised that I, too, could have a beautiful garden by spending "just a few hours a day" tending to it, I was out.  Forget that noise, I thought to myself.  I'm watering it, and weeding it, and I'm hoping for the best.

So almost every day since then, right as the sun starts to descend, I go outside and water my little garden for no more than 15 minutes or so.  If it rained during the day, I ignore it.  If I see a weed while I'm watering, I pull it.  And as promised myself, the rest of the time I hope for the best.

It has only been a month, but so far, so good.

Now again, I'm new at this, but to my untrained eye, my little garden seems to be flourishing.  And yesterday evening, it suddenly occurred to me that maybe this is the secret to balance:  that maybe simply by paying just a little bit of focused attention on the things that matter -- but doing it routinely -- things flourish.  That perhaps, when it comes to things even beyond my little garden, including family and career and physical health and spiritual health, that it's the consistency and focus that matters, maybe even more than the quantity of time spent on each.  That it's more about the practice than the intensity.

Or maybe I'm wrong, and a plague of locusts is just waiting for me to be lulled into a false sense of security with my garden, to teach me the error of my non-nitrogening, non-garlic-watering ways.

But it's something I'm thinking about.

Tomorrow I'm heading to Atlanta to attend and speak at the Mom 2.0 Summit.  If you'll be there, please be sure to tap me on the shoulder and say hi -- I'd love to meet you!


Song:  Practice is perfect by Andy McKee