“I find that it's best to take one step at a time and cross each bridge as they come to you.”
~ Michael Stuhlbarg
This past Tuesday was my first day back to working in the greenhouse in a little over a week. As I put my gloves on and knelt to begin weeding our carrot beds, I realized that a part of me (a pretty large part, in fact) had missed working in the greenhouse. Now, for you to fully understand the impact of this realization, you have to know that I originally started working at the greenhouse because I needed some sort of summer job and there were very few options available. But, with the craziness of returning to college looming on the horizon, I found myself really appreciating the simplicity and sense of accomplishment I enjoyed while working in the greenhouse. Quite a bit of my time this summer was spent weeding, first to just clear the beds so they were ready to be planted, and then to maintain them. The beauty of weeding is that it’s kind of a mindless task. All I had to do was set myself up, spend a couple hours pulling up anything that didn’t belong, and voila! A beautifully manicured garden bed! Of course, it’s not exactly easy work, especially in the heat of the day, but it’s simple. And that simplicity is what I found myself thinking about as I pulled up weeds to reveal neat rows of carrot plants.
While I love the opportunities and experiences I’ve had and will continue to have in college, it can very quickly become an overload of responsibility. One day you’re enjoying yourself, coasting through college life, and the next, you suddenly have a major paper, project, and/or test due in the next week. And it’s not just college. It’s life in general. Life has a nasty tendency to become very overwhelming very fast. But as I knelt outside, calmly weeding the carrot beds, I had a thought. Why can’t I approach life the same way I approach weeding? Who says I can’t bring some of the simplicity of garden work into life outside of the garden? When I first started working at the greenhouse, it was overrun with weeds. There was clearly a LOT of work to do. Yet I didn’t feel overwhelmed. At all. I just got to work and watched the progress. As I went one weed at a time, the greenhouse began to appear from underneath the mess. Now, it’s flourishing, just as it’s supposed to. I can only hope that I remember that once I get back to college. All the assignments and responsibility and stress can easily become a tangle of weeds, strangling the fun out of life. But all I have to do is go one weed at a time, focus on what’s right in front of me, and slowly but surely, I will see my life reemerge from the mess. Imagine the simplicity we could all enjoy if we just realized that every task is accomplished one “weed” at a time!
Unfortunately, my enlightenment came a bit late in the summer. Today is my last day working in the greenhouse before I leave for college. I’ve enjoyed my time working here more than I thought I would, and I am so grateful for the opportunity. While the practical knowledge I’ve gained probably won’t come in handy at college, the experience and all the time I had to think certainly will. So I encourage you to find time to come and visit the greenhouse for yourself. Take a peek at the plants coming up (and maybe appreciate the lack of weeds as much as I do)! It’s set apart and peaceful, so it’s a nice, quiet place to think. Maybe you’ll even have some greenhouse revelations yourself! The greenhouse is a special place. It’s just one of the many things that make Andes, as a town and as a school, so wonderful.
~ Serena Bacon