Friday, February 19, 2010

Failure Gardening Is Future Success

I have mentioned gardening in the past, but after I spent the day elbow deep in dirt I thought I should talk about it again.

Gardening is a bit like life.  You aren't likely to get much out of it if you don't get a bit dirty.  Today I got dirty, but I have yet to see if I will get anything out of it.

Most people garden to grow things.  I garden to kill things.  Nope, you didn't misread that.  I am on a quest to see how many ways you should not grow plants.  In particular I try to kill off fruit and vegetable plants.  I am not a crazy person, I just know a lot can be learned from failure.

Originally the plan was to grow things to eat.  I read the books, I bought the supplies and I headed off into my little backyard to start a garden.  I planted seeds and transplanted starts then waited.  I ran out each morning to watch over my new kingdom and felt a thrill when the first little plant started to push through the soil.  You would laugh to know how many ways you can take a picture of a 1/4 inch plant.

After not too long I realized I had a problem, namely, things started to die.  It was horrible, but the more I saw die the more I learned.  I have planted my garden now for over 4 year, and I have killed many plants.  Every so often I eat some, but more often I kill them.

In this last 4 years I have learned about water and fertilizer.  I have learned about sunlight and wind.  I have learned about mulch and insects.  I know a lot now I never would have learned any other way.  I have experience in gardening now, and slowly I am starting to see the "fruits" of my labor.  (Yes, that pun was intended.)

So back to my metaphor on life.  There are so many aspects of life that must be experienced to be understood.  The crazy part is experiencing success alone doesn't tell us much.  If we only succeed we really don't know why.  It isn't until we fail that we understand how our success was created.  This is true for love, parenting, business skills, mopping the floor and winning a race.

Many people wiser than I have talked about failure.  We see the fruits of failure all around us.  The comforts we enjoy, the inventions we use and the decisions we make are a result of the information learned from past failures.

With that in mind, I will continue gardening.  I will continue to fail, and I will continue to learn.  With every attempt I have increased my knowledge and furthered my goal of creating a lush oasis.  Someday I will get there, someday I will have gained enough experience to keep my plants alive.

When that happens I will start the next project...and fail there too.  I can hardly wait to get started.

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