You know that poem, Anyway, usually attributed to Mother Theresa?
People are often unreasonable, illogical and self centered;
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.
What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.
[Reportedly inscribed on the wall of Mother Teresa’s children’s home in Calcutta, and attributed to her. However, an article in the New York Times has since reported (March 8, 2002) that the original version of this poem was written by Kent M. Keith.]That poem makes me think of my garden. (I’ve only had 2 cups of tea today, it may take a while to get to my point. Bear with me.)
We’ve lived in this house for 5 years. We’ve been wanting to move to somewhere larger for probably the last 3. Until recently, we had plans to move to Oregon before the end of the year — but that’s now on hold indefinitely. Duncan will be going to a really good school in the fall, somewhere we can envision him staying until he graduates high school (with Berry following in a couple of years). Kevin is still in school. We’re staying put for the time being.
My point with all of that is that it’s hard to think about long term plans for your current location and invest lots of time and energy into it when you think you may not be there for the next growing season. I think I have an issue with the emotional commitment and my visions not being fulfilled.
Anyway. That’s where the poem comes in. I need to do it anyway.
Gardening organically, doing what I can to live a little more lightly on the earth, teaching my children to respect and appreciate the wonder of the natural world…those are things I’m passionate about. They’re part of who I am in my core as a person. I knew that when I lived on a mountain in North Carolina, off-grid and with no running water. I embraced it then. (I also wanted to move and live in a house, instead of an Airstream.)
I think the difficulties we went through during that time — probably mostly due to the extreme poverty we experienced — made me run into the arms of commerce and hot running water. At least for a while. You can never get away from who you really are, though. And I’m a composting, veggie-growing, recycling, organic-food-eating girl at heart. I need to feel my connection with the earth to be grounded and happy.
I’d really love to live in a bigger house with more land around us. We could have a greenhouse and extend our growing season. We could get into greywater systems. Build an earthship. I still have all the dreams I ever did — back when being green wasn’t cool or popular.
But I can do a lot with what we have right now. Make compost. Grow food in our little garden. Catch rain water from the garage roof. Teach my children to tend the earth. Go for walks in the woods.
If we move next year, we move and start again somewhere else. If we don’t, I’ll have more asparagus to eat. 🙂
I started this post with the intention of linking to a blog I just discovered and a good post about getting into gardening. So here that is.