Thursday, March 6, 2014

What Will You Grow This Spring?


"What in you is tiny and tentative and trying to emerge despite the harshness all around?" -- Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew

That’s the writing prompt I saw recently from Elizabeth Jarrett Andrew’s Facebook page. It's not easy to think about gardening in the midst of the coldest and snowiest winter we've had in a long time. Deciding what to grow next Spring and ordering the seeds has been sitting on my To Do list for about a month now. But that's not really what Elizabeth is getting at anyway. She's speaking in one of those dang metaphors...

What will I grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness?

If a living thing doesn’t get much nourishment and has no reserves built up, it will have a hard time holding up against drought or disease. And when events keep chipping away at your confidence and everything you try fails, what can a person think except the only relief is to stop trying?

But that’s not relief. That’s depression.


What will I grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness? 

I am tempted to plant nothing. I want to tear everything up by the roots and work poison into the soil so those annoyingly hopeful green shoots will not try to spring up again.

I didn’t reach this point for no reason. Something (years of repetitive somethings) happened that have made me feel like no matter what I do, I’m stuck. I wasn’t meant to succeed at what I’m trying to succeed at. Maybe I have to let it go. I have to accept what people want and don't want, even if what they don't want is all that I have to offer.

I'm a fixer. I see a problem and I want to fix it. I think if I do all the right things, the problem will be resolved. It's hard to admit when something is out of my control and there's nothing more I can do. That doesn't mean I can't do something, but that something may be to turn away from an impasse.   

So what will I grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness?

Grief. That may have to come first. A fertilizer of sorts. A compost mix that’s burning a bit hot now but will hopefully cook and cool into a rich mixture of organic matter. Don’t you love the sound of that? I also like words like humus, mulch and opulent. 

Opulent - ostentatiously rich and luxurious or lavish.

What will I grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness?

A book. It’s coming slow but sure. The hardest part has been trying to figure out what belongs in the story and what belongs somewhere else. The hardest part has been organizing and revising years worth of work. The hardest part is not believing I suck and giving up.

When I'm really discouraged, I talk to myself about who I really am at my core that remains unchanged, no matter what. I say, "You are a writer, Maery, and a seer, not the kind that foretells the future, but the kind who is quiet enough and aware enough to see, to connect the dots, and to be open to what lies unseen. So start seeing."

What will I grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness? 

Writing on the rails. I can’t stop thinking about this… If you are a writer, I encourage you to look into the Amtrak Residency for writers. You might get a free train trip where you can work on your writing project. I’m keeping tabs on this upcoming offer but given my past failure record, I don’t want to wait to be “picked.”  I may just hop a train on my own dime, ride across country, watch the view out my window (there's so much I haven't seen of other states) and use the time to work on my manuscript. A train trip is on my bucket list. It’s about time that list got a little shorter. 

What will I grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness?  


This hawk rested on the bush outside my office window a week ago. I think it might be a Cooper Hawk. I don’t know if he was waiting to catch one of the smaller birds at the bird feeder or was just tired of fighting the wind and cold and needed a rest.

I expected him to fly away when I started to take photos, especially when I switched lenses to get a closer shot. But he just watched me, and I thought, “He’s a seer too.”


What is it about those eyes? What is it about that wild nature and ability to fly that draws me in? I want to know what he has seen from up in the sky. I want to know what it feels like to float.

So what will you grow this Spring? What tiny and tentative thing wants to emerge despite all the harshness? 

4 comments:

  1. Maery Rose...that is quite a post! Your photographs are beautiful (as usual) and your words are starting to sound like those you wrote years ago. I must be missing something, as you have seemed to be doing very well. Has something happened to change things? I'm sure you are not alone in your writing endeavors... Don't give up. You are good at this. I still think of you as Miss Kick Ass.

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    1. One writing rejection but that hasn't been the big kick in the ass for me. Unfortunately, the ass kicking was such a huge and unexpected knock down that it's hard not to let it seep into every part of my life. So I'm working on separating my selfs and trying to keep the writer/photographer self still feeling up, strong, optimistic and happy. Let's hope I can pull it off.

      Oh, and I did a bit of a rewrite, hoping it will be a less confusing read.

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  2. Please keep at it Maery, just take a deep breath and brush up your bruised knees, stand back up and continue...Please continue, you are a seer and a writer and a photographer, how else would have you had the guts to write this post and the heart to capture this beauty looking back at you.

    Hugs to you hoping you feel better very soon

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    Replies
    1. I won't give up on the writing and photography, I promise. Just giving up on something else, which is, unfortunately, taking away some of my energy and confidence on the creative side also. It's hard to compartmentalize feelings in one area of life so they don't overshadow another. But I can feel my resolve gradually building back up again to see the beauty out there. Thanks so much for your comment.

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