I finally started planting some things last week and got my hands into soil after a few weeks of a welcome holiday break, house projects, and administrative work. It felt wonderful. I could feel joy bubbling up as I imagined how beautiful these flowers would be when they bloomed. I even caught myself smiling as I filled trays. But then a funny thing happened—all the what if’s started flooding in. What if I started these too late? What if it’s too early? What if the ground never dries and I can’t plant? What if I go ahead and plant and they rot?
Then, later I started going into a spiral with all the other seeds I need to start. Should I start these now or wait a few weeks? Will we have another crazy arctic blast like in December or will it stay mild? Will the ground every dry out so I can get the tunnel up? How many of these should I plant? Will people like these? What if this disease comes through and wipes all of these out like it did for so and so?
On and on it went until I could feel a paralysis of indecision. Then, this word popped into my head--risk.
This is usually not my favorite word. It has a dangerous edge to it that feels dark and menacing. If I’m honest, this word usually leans negative for me.
I felt all those shadows, but surprisingly, there was also something that rang hopeful and bright this time. In fact, it felt like an invitation…like if I didn’t take a chance, what would I miss out on? And if it failed, what was the big deal? Farmers fail. People fail. Then we learn and grow.
In recent weeks, people I know have had unexpected hardships arise like life tends to bring--sickness, death, diagnoses, plans going awry, dreams that are lost. Of course, we notice the hard things a lot more than the positive things, but with each bit of news, I felt how fragile this illusion of control is in our lives.
It’s this fragility that makes the laughter, the good meals, the sweet moments even more special and rather than being intimidated by all that can go wrong, I felt drawn by the invitation to try, to see what could be….to risk.
I heard veteran farmers call 2022 one of the hardest years they’ve experienced. The heat and drought were brutal. It was only year 2 for me and I managed to survive. I attended 30+ farmer’s markets. I grew. I hit some goals. I definitely also had some missed marks. I learned.
I don’t know what lies ahead. Last year pushed me to some limits. This year, I’ve set even bigger goals and will have to become someone different to achieve them. I still wonder what it is that I’ve gotten myself into. Yes, it feels absolutely risky—not just as a flower grower, but as a mother of a teen and tweens and as a human being. There might be new relationships and new opportunities. It could hurt. In fact, I imagine there will be times it will. There might also be great joy.
I’m game. Tomorrow at 2:34 pm, I might not feel so certain, but then I’ll consider the options: be brave and carry on or hide and stay stagnant—and I’ll most likely choose to risk again.
As I begin a new season, I feel even more conviction about the importance of beauty in all our lives so I’m excited to do an even better job in bringing high quality, gorgeous flowers to you. But this thing I’m doing, it’s more than the flowers. It’s about becoming. I’m still figuring it out, as perhaps you might be. Whatever might your invitation to risk—risking control, risking knowing, risking safe outcomes—I hope you will find strength to say yes. Who knows? It might just end up being breathtakingly beautiful.