Last year I planted a garden for the first time in this home. I grew a wonderful crop of big green leaves. Zucchini leaves. Tomato leaves. Carrot tops. Pumpkin leaves. Cucumber leaves. Green leaves galore.

We harvested three zucchini, a few very short carrots, no pumpkins, and a few handfuls of watery tomatoes. It was not a great year in the garden if the goal was growing something to eat.

This year I decided to purposely plant green leaves. If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Collards. Kale. Swiss chard. Lettuce. If this was a garden that liked to produce green leaves then I would simply plant what liked to grow here. So far the lettuce is growing like gang-busters and I refuse to thin it because it is the only thing robustly growing.

If I were my own best friend I would remind myself to focus on the process, the journey, the joy of seeds and dirt and tiny plants. Do not focus on the end result. Maybe the leaves will grow. Maybe they won’t.

What I do know is the act of growing plants still fills me joy. Putting a seed in dirt, watering it, hoping it gets sunshine, and waiting – it all feels like a small miracle when a tiny little plant pushes through the earth. And each year something grows in the garden (even if it doesn’t grow as big or produce as much as I want it to) it is amazing and gratifying.

So maybe that’s the message to myself – focus on the miracle, not the outcome. Grow.

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