Yesterday, I took some time away from my editing schedule to tend to the little 4' x 6' garden my husband and I had planted earlier this year. And boy, did it need it. As I sat there, pulling weeds, harvesting green beans, and cutting lettuce, I thought a great deal about my grandfather.
He was the one who first taught me about vegetable gardens. I can remember spending the summers with him. We would go for a four mile walk, have a breakfast of beagles with honey, and then spend all day tending to his garden, which was about half as wide as a football field and about thirty yards long. He would teach me about planting, weeding, watering, everything to make the plants grow. And when they were ready for harvesting, we would go through and he would show me why each vegetable was ready and how you could tell it was ready to be picked. :) He used to scold me for eating all the peas as I picked them, telling me that others couldn't enjoy them too if I kept them all to myself. I learned about plants I had never heard of before, like Kohlrabi, as well as ones I had grown up despising (cooked peas, go figure I loved them when they were raw). As I learned about vegetables and making them grow, he would teach me about other things. We would have long discussions about the ways of the world. He was the one person who never sugar coated anything. He has this saying about wishes, which is a little inappropriate so I won't repeat it here, but it boiled down to you've got nothing if you keep wishing. You have to go out and make those wishes come true.
In essence, my grandfather taught me to recognize a lot of things about life through those simple hours in the garden. Things that only now as an adult I have a true understanding of. Those lessons in the garden have taught me how to tend to many things in life, including my business. A business may not need water and sunlight to grow, but it needs time, effort, lots of TLC, to be known by the outside world, the list goes on. And the only way to make the dreams and wishes of a business come true is to get out there and make them come true. There is no sitting and waiting.
As my business grows each day, I look forward to the new fruits it will bring, the new people I will meet, and the lives I will touch through it. I have my grandfather to thank for many things, but mainly, for teaching me how to tend my daily life as I tend to a garden. Giving it the things it needs to blossom and keeping it safe from the things that would hinder it. And so, I leave you with this final thought, "How does your 'garden' grow?"