I don’t know but it might be possible that if I treated myself with more respect I would use the term ‘healing’ less often for what I have been doing all of my adult life, and use the term ‘growing’ more often.

I was reminded as I wandered around my gardens before the sun fully reached the front side of the horizon this morning, as I checked on their condition and the state of their health like a volunteer nurse, that sometimes – maybe most of the time – what could count as growing is invisible.

I was happy a few weeks ago to hear one of our local county extension agents mention that this spring time of year in the high desert is not a time for vegetation to display a lavish gratitude for the lengthening days, warmth of sun, warmer night soil temperatures.  No, this time of year is a time of great resting for plants.  This idea, for someone who has spent much of their lifetime living in northern climes seems foreign.  But because I have this new information now I feel less like a poor gardener with my pale-ish peaked plants – and more like a patient watcher who need do nothing special at this time of year other than to water and to wait.


Because our soil never freezes in the winter here plants spend impressive amounts of energy growing roots at that time of year.  It makes sense to me that NOW they need to rest as this entire area begins to get hotter and hotter before our July monsoon season begins.

Growth under the soil surface with massive root gain in winter will not show its power to grant new life above ground until the season is right.  The plants know.  They do not question, they do not feel any pressure to do anything other than what they know how naturally to do.

I think it’s much harder for some of us humans to live in this state of being perfectly fine with whatever conditions exist.  We have choice-making abilities that plants don’t have.  We can create CHANGE – oh boy, can we!

Changes all plants seem to desire to make are about survival and growth.  If there is damage done to a plant, it will respond the best it can – yes, to heal – but to a plant I suppose healing is the same thing as survival and growth.

As the witness to my garden’s life, and as the human I am, I would prefer to ALWAYS see great gobs of blossoms and yardage of new growth on every plant out there all of the time!!  Not the way life works!  Patterns and seasons, that’s more like it….

Yet it strikes me this tendency of mine to see achievement by my plants is why I so enjoy growing climbing roses rather than any other kind.  It’s not my desire to keep cutting a poor rose bush to ‘keep it in line/shape’.  I have 19 climbing roses in my garden – and I see the growth literally as the seasons go by – as their main canes grow longer and I can wind them further and further up their trellis or their fence.

I like to SEE growth!  It’s sure not easy to see in myself as I seem to travel mostly in repeating circles – never sure where I am going or where I have been.  I am so rarely sure I have made any progress at all!  Today I will aim at thinking like a plant:  “When it is the proper time, it will happen!”


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