Saturday, January 17, 2009

perseverance--- can't do without it... some randomly connected thoughts

I once read a gardening essay (don't ask, I have memory issues) in which the author spoke of how it is so important to persevere. The point being that even if the good folk over at Longwood Gardens took a break, in no time at all even my gardens would look better. It takes energy, and a constant flow of it, to keep things from falling into chaos. Entropy wins and nature takes over from the order us gardeners think we have established.

Students tested my patience at times this week. Making the same mistake two days in a row, being sent to do a job and not following through on how I wanted it done, not learning a new task as quickly as I would like.... It takes energy and awareness to react in a way that will be helpful. It is easier to flow into chaos, though harder to escape from it. One must persevere no matter which route is taken. The student's reaction when I am leading the event towards chaos can be a wake-up call. "Do I really want a power struggle?" Add energy and try to flow back to some sort of order.

I grew up having a backyard that ended in a farmer's field and also had a dairy farm and store in the family (where we celebrated Thanksgiving and where I learned to highly favor black raspberry ice cream). It didn't take my attempts at growing food crops to marvel at the perseverance of farmers, but it didn't lesson my respect for those who feed us.

My students have to persevere through my presence in the classroom and the jazz that often flows through the air because of it. Before the conversion to jazz, I listened to folk music. I randomly picked a cassette this morning and heard this song by Nanci Griifith which she wrote in the mid-80's but could have been written at many times about the life of a farm family.

The high point of the week goes to the perseverance of this amaryllis. A photo I took, just in case. You see a student was given this bulb as a gift and brought it to my class to plant. She was late in getting back to the school, but when she arrived back this week, I remembered quickly (the memory problem is not yet pervasive) and we walked to the window sill to see the lingering blooms. It is not always us that persevere.


tina said...

So true on the garden thing. Leave it for even a few days and chaos takes over. One part of gardening I do not like.

Anonymous said...

So true. We can take our lessons from nature on so many levels. This reminds me of one lone rosebush in an otherwise vacant field. Every summer it would bloom and I'd drive by and see it out there all by its lonesome with nothing but the soil and sun and maybe an occasional rain. It didn't look spectacular, but it looked good. Walgreens was its final demise. Sad. But I'll always remember it.

Wayne Stratz said...

Tina--- I don't like winter much, but it does provide a break from gardening, and the rebirth of spring!!!!

Grace--- thanks for the sharing the memory. It seems to be one of many emotions, as most memories are.

Chandramouli S said...

Said true, Wayne. Chaos pervades your life and garden so soon if unnoticed. Now that you say it, I realize how true it is. Great post.

Wayne Stratz said...

Chandramouli--- thanks. I do believe it is a universal truth and many a wise person has helped me to see it that way. I am just passing on what they have taught me.