Gardening (An Analogy)

So, I have a vegetable garden in my backyard. This is year two – last year we had potatoes, onions, spinach, and broccoli, and it was lovely. Everything was very good and we reaped a plentiful harvest.

This year we have potatoes, carrots, peas, and then some broccoli, spinach, and two onions that regrew from last year, though I’m not sure how. Especially the onions. I apparently have no idea how onions actually reproduce.

The spinach and broccoli that regrew never really reached a harvestable stage. Instead, they grew in very odd places and went to seed almost immediately. What leaves the spinach grew looked diseased, and I’m not sure the broccoli ever actually broccolied.

The onions are flowering and ginormous. My husband keeps saying I should pull them out, but I kind of want to see what the do next.

The potatoes and peas are happy as pie. The carrots, despite being planted in an equidistant, straight row, are growing in strange little carrot clumps.

My vegetable garden this year reminds me of the writing process. Last year, when everything was new, everything was where it was supposed to be, laid out perfectly, and everything was easy. Like when you first start a story. Or when you’ve outlined and know exactly when each element is supposed to come into play and where it’s supposed to go.

This year, I’ve got random remnants that I thought I’d gotten rid of, weeds seeping in, some surprises, and I’m interested to see how it all goes. We’ve all had stories like that, haven’t we? We pull a plot element out halfway through, then forget we’ve done so and later find sickly elements that need to be removed.  Or elements that are choking what we do want. And there are characters and plots that come out of nowhere and yet, work so perfectly. Or when you write just to see where the story’s going.

Both are creative processes, if you think about it. Both require planning and creativity to accomplish. And in the end, you hope to reap a bountiful harvest.

(Also, just a reminder that we’re starting the summer T/Th schedule next week, so the next post shall be on Tuesday, June 19th.)

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by dennarahl on 2012/06/15 at 2:03 PM

    Spinach and broccoli don’t like to get hot, and since we got no spring the aren’t doing well this year. The onions will probably be tough and might taste funny, but if you let the flower do its thing and then dry, you will have onion seeds to plant. Onions (and relatives) form new bulbs AND they seed. An awesome plant if you ask me. The carrots need to be thinned out. When they are too close they either grow funny or they won’t really grow at all. This is a great year for potatoes, peppers and tomatoes. They all love heat, as long as they get enough water.

    On a related to the post tangent: I love how creativity is like that. 🙂


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