I've learned a lesson about flexibility this summer. Careful planning doesn't always come to fruition. I need to be ready for change, both the positive and the negative.
March 16, I planted tomato seeds. A month later, I transplanted the seedlings to larger pots. Here is what my early starts looked like, getting their first taste of real sunshine.
By July 11, most of these tomatoes were in large planters, or in the ground. Three feet tall, blooming, and forming green tomatoes. You can glimpse part of a plant on my deck in this bunny picture. The plant was three times as large by this weekend.
On Saturday, we received rain. Along with the much needed moisture came devastating hail. I wasn't home at the time, which is good. I might have run out on the deck to attempt covering my plants, and had some of my own branches pruned.
The good news is that my garden has time to recover. Many branches and leaves were stripped off the plants, and fruits were knocked off, but the tomatoes weren't reduced to mere stems. Already, new leaves are forming. Yesterday the weather was mild, and it rained last night. Recovery is likely.
What does this have to do with flexibility? My attention had been focused on weeding, watering, and harvesting as my garden began to produce vegetables. I could wallow in misery, along with my gardening neighbors, or I could shift to cleanup and recovery mode.
The same applies to writing. I have been struggling with a new short story. It just wasn't coming together. Boring, I thought. No one's going to want to read this. Just as I was about to pitch the story and start over, I had a little hailstorm - or is that brainstorm?
As often happens, I realized the ending was all wrong. It was painfully predictable. Then a new ending occurred to me. Something unexpected. I have to strip away every word that's not working in order to allow new growth.
Like hail on a summer garden, editing your own work can feel destructive. What grows from severe pruning will likely be more compact and productive.
Here are some photos of Colorado that are entirely predictable. Images of the West. Some things don't need to change. Enjoy.
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