One of my best childhood memories is picking pansies with my grandma Dot. She had a sweet collection of tiny vases that were perfect for little treasures like pansies and violets that most gardeners would never think of as cut flowers. While we were selecting dozens of colorful pansies, I became very concerned that we were cutting too many and that the plants would run out of flowers. She assured me that no matter how many flowers we picked, the pansies would continue blooming and producing more flowers. In fact, the more we cut, the more it encouraged the plants to grow! Furthermore, if we could remove any dead flowers we found, that would help the pansies bloom even more.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but she pretty much taught me everything I needed to know about life in that one moment. I have reminisced about that experience many times, but it’s taken years for me to realize the magnitude of that lesson. It stays with me today every time I pick a bouquet from my garden to give to a friend. I love collecting a mix of colors and shapes, and seeing how the flowers mix so beautifully. Occasionally, I catch myself worrying that I will not have enough flowers left to enjoy after making the bouquet. You would have to see my yard to know how completely ridiculous this concern is! It is easy to fall into mindless patterns like this, worrying about not having “enough,” of what makes our life beautiful. Often it is holding on too tight that keeps me from discovering I am already knee deep in loveliness. The more I let go, the more I cast aside my fears that the good stuff will “run out,” the more clearly I can see that I am surrounded by beauty and joy.
Don’t be afraid to pick as many flowers as you want! You won’t run out. And while you are at it, remove the dead blooms so you can make room for new growth in your life.