Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Waiting for Germination

Today it’s 65 degrees. The sun is shining and buds are bursting everywhere—magnolias, pears, weeping cherries, dogwoods, redbuds, and forsythia all dropping their petals like confetti. Daffodils, tulips, and hyacinths scatter lawns and woods, all against the backdrop of that plastic-Easter-basket-grass green of the new grass and tree buds. Almost overnight, Ohio has turned into a Monet painting. All is lush and full of promise.

The danger for me in this season is the distraction of the garden. I’ve spent many a happy hour out in the garden already, weeding, pruning, preparing new beds. It’s still too early to plant much except for cold crops and hardy perennials, but my writing office is full of seedlings I started indoors five weeks ago—tomatoes, peppers, hollyhocks, lavender, thyme, zinnias, and celosia. I was about to toss out my little containers of columbine when finally!—one morning at long last tiny little green threads poked up through the seed starter. I’d continued to water them and move them from sunny spot to sunny spot, even though I’d become convinced they were dead. A lesson in patience.

I’ve been chugging along on a young adult novel and I’ve felt like I’m about to write the ending for over a month now. Every single book is so different, but this one initially unfolded for me at such a rapid, exhilarating pace...but has now has become a lesson in patience itself. Or maybe more a lesson in faith. I thought I knew where it was heading, but at “the end” new ideas and developments kept coming faster than I could keep up. Discovery is the true joy of a first draft, so I’m not complaining, but it’s odd to have felt so close to the end about a hundred pages ago! (Obviously, lots of revision will be in order).

The manuscript is in that murky place, like those columbine seeds, where I’m not quite sure what’s going on. I have to trust. I have to keep showing up to nurture it along.

The weekend before last I planted outdoors. I planted spinach, Swiss chard, beets, radishes, peas...and yet another new plot twist. Waiting for germination for them all! Happy spring!


  1. I was trying to wrap my mind around a few of my own "waiting to germinate" issues the other day, and what suddenly popped into my mind was this character I played in a high school melodrama, Patience Faithful. I've decided to work on embracing that philosophy again (although Patience Faithful was waiting for her husband's memory to come back, but same difference, I suppose). Here's sending you good "Patience Faithful" vibes from NYC!

  2. Lindsy, have a wonderful time in NYC! Keep me posted on your adventures there. "Patience Faithful" indeed. Thank you!