Last year during the "high" of COVID, you know in April/May of 2020 when everyone was at Home Depot, local farms had lines and everyone was trying their best to be grateful for all the things lockdown issued, well we were on that band wagon too. The chaos of the world really did force many of us including myself to create a self imposed therapeutic state and I, like many others also, took it upon myself to start gardening. My husband built me a 12x12 garden bed and I was so excited to see what I could harvest. I planted lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and some beans. Now I have to mention that prior to this venture, I terribly failed at keeping anything that grows outdoors, alive inside for more than 24 hours. With that being said, you can imagine my surprise when after a few weeks I was growing sprouts. In my excitement to share, I asked my daughter to come outside to look. As she was admiring the growth of the obvious cucumbers and tomatoes she failed to see the smallest sprout of lettuce. She stepped in the bed to take a look at the beans sprouts in back and that was the end of the lettuce. She smooshed it and it never grew back. Even as the spring and summer went on, we had an abundance of other veggies but the lettuce was gone. Every now and then I still jokingly remind her how she killed my lettuce. Since she is such an advocate for clean living and lifestyles, it’s become a little insider joke for us. As of today though, that jokes on me.
So here we are over a year later, getting reacquainted back into the world. My family more than enjoyed all the veggies that grew in the garden last year and we are all slowly easing back into what "normal" life looks and feels like. Admittedly, I haven't gotten around to the garden yet this year, but I keep planning on it, and today was the day I chose to start. I went to the back of the house to look at how much weeds would need to be pulled and how much work would need to be done before planting again. Today friends, when I turned the corner guess what the only thing growing amongst the weeds was? I'm sure the picture gave it away, but yes...lettuce! Beautiful, perfect, green, healthy, crisp lettuce. I was shocked! I carefully picked it and brought in the house. As I was washing it, I started to think about what had happened to the lettuce over the past year. What happened after it had been crushed under the real weight of the real world. My daughters foot in comparison to the sprout that had sprung I thought had surely killed it. I also now know I was wrong. The weight had traumatized the lettuce obviously and it didn't grow when it was "supposed" too or “expected” to, but that lettuce healed and came back better than I could have ever imagined. That lettuce literally took its time to recover and come back strong. It didn't grow in the clean, beautiful garden bed I had planted it in either. It grew in a mess! It grew amongst the weeds and old soil that have now been through four seasons of various weather patterns, who knows how many critters, and we have a dog so lord knows what else. I obviously do not know what took place under that dirt but I know what came out of it. Just look at that picture friends!
I say all of this to say, I know we all have seasons where it feels like it's over. We seem to make a little headway, just like the sprout of lettuce did last year and then, boom, we get smooshed with the weight of the world (however that may happen). Also, just like that lettuce though, we can survive. Not only survive, we can come back stronger, more resilient and beautiful as ever. We may need a few weeks, months, a season or even an entire year to get there but let's face it, the human body is stronger in every way, shape and form than a sprout of lettuce. We can also recover and grow in a mess. If lettuce can make a seeded comeback, we most certainly can make a human one.
I know it's hard. Healing can be arduous and exhausting as hell. It is not linear and it most certainly is not fun. What it is though.....is possible! I hope today if you find yourself feeling a bit hopeless in your pursuits or unplanted in your purpose….if you find depression pulling you under or anxiety pushing you to the limit, I hope and pray that you remember this lettuce, that you become
like this lettuce. Silly it seems, but nevertheless it’s the truth.
"Lettuce" all be patient with our journeys. 🥬
(I could not resist that one 🤪)
Stay well & Sip slow friends,