There is a section of my garden
Where I don’t have many perennials.
I have given it over to self seeding annuals.
Poppies and Larkspur in the spring
Are followed by Cosmos, Cleome, Cockscomb and Zinnias.
This does however result in a few empty spaces.
For years – decades really – I have planted Zinnias in those places.
This happens later in the season.
Usually mid – June through Mid – July.
So when the first round of volunteer Zinnias
And they will.
I have a second fresh crop for fall.
This accidental plan
Has worked great for years and years.
Then comes this summer.
The first round of Zinnia seeds
Planted in mid – June
Have sprouted and started to bloom.
But the second and third rounds
Simply won’t sprout.
I’ve tried different varieties
From different companies
At different times
Then I read this week
That because of this relentless heat
The soil is too hot to germinate seeds.
Seriously…how can that be.
Think about that for a moment.
It’s a really scarey thought
Since growing food
Requires lots and lots of seed germination.
So, once again, we must adjust our knowledge
Of what works
And what no longer will.
Which brought to mind a book I’m reading.
“From Strength to Strength” by Arthur C Brooks.
In it he talks about the “fluid intelligence” of our 30’s and 40’s
And the “crystallized intelligence” of my stage of life
And ways of sharing our “crystallization” (my word) that will lead to happiness.
So my “crystallized intelligence” of decades in the garden
Needs to become a bit more fluid
To adapt to nature and the changes we are forcing on it.
But that is really how nature works.
Witness the life of poet Mary Oliver
Who walked the woods and shorelines of her home
Writing books and books of poems.
Leaving behind a depth of “crystallized intelligence”
For the world.
Maybe it’s the generations of Presbyterians in me
But I’m thankful I don’t have all the answers.
And about life.
There is still space to grow.
If we don’t change we don’t grow. If we don’t grow we aren’t really living.