Whenever I see a fresh-picked vegetable, the earth newly turned, or observe the many beautiful flowers in her garden, I remember those special days when she would punish me for something rotten I had done by making me work in the garden next to her. As we planted the seeds, she was planting seeds in me.
She pointed out to me how each flower, each plant, each vegetable had its own individual shape and color. She explained we are each like those things in that we are each unique, one of a kind, not like anyone or anything else.
She told me how we are like plants in that we need four things to grow: oxygen, water, sunshine, and manure. She said sometimes it was the manure that made us grow the most. It is the hard times that teach us who we are and how strong we can be. She had a profound effect on my value system.
She told me that what you plant determines what you produce. If you plant squash seeds, you get squash. If you plant watermelon seeds, you get watermelons. Tomato seeds, tomatoes, etc.. And if you plant positive seeds in the garden of your mind, you will produce a positive life. If you plant negative seeds, you will produce a negative, unhappy life. I listened to her, enthralled as she gave me an analogy of the seeds of creative ideas and the growth of positive, successful lives.
Here was my Mom, with no formal education beyond high school, four children when her husband was killed, a single mother for many years, who worked long, hard hours as a seamstress and then would come home and work in the garden in order to raise food for us to eat. Many an early evening, when we were both on our knees putting seeds in the ground or pulling up vegetables for the night’s dinner, she would express a depth of human insight and psychological brilliance that I have not heard anywhere else. She taught me that the seeds of success are not planted only in people who come from the most financially comfortable families, nor are they planted only in people with great intelligence, outstanding beauty, or of a specific race or culture. The seeds of success are attitudes and beliefs that are rooted in our upbringing and adopted as we grow.
She taught me that faith is a seed of success. When you plant a seed, you must have faith that it will grow. And you have to make a decision, you can have faith or you can have fear. You can’t have both. Which do you prefer?
Love is a seed of success. Love means to value. We must love ourselves before we can give love to others. We must possess that emotion inside ourselves before we can share it. And then we must love others and let them know of their value.
I believe we can rid our life gardens of fear weeds by understanding their roots. Then soften the earth around those weeds with new insight, pull them up, and toss them. When we plant seeds of love and faith, we can force the fear weeds to dry up and blow away.
Mother drilled it into our heads that we must be different, unique, like the plants, the clouds, the grains of sand. No two are alike. “Be unique,” she said. “That means being cleaner, neater than others in the group, and look your best at all times.” “Be unique, have high standards of behavior.” “Be unique. Take calculated risks. The greatest risk in life is to wait and depend on others.” “Be unique. Plan and take the action that will make you independent.” “Be unique, give more than you are expected to give.”
We are all the sum total of our beliefs, attitudes, and actions. Like the growth of any living thing, character requires time and nurturing for growth and development. She taught us that as we grow, we must remember we are in control of our communication, our commitments, our causes, our concerns, and yes, even our clock. We must always be aware that the crop we produce will depend on the quality and amount of contribution we make. In other words, we reap what we sow.
Oh, did I mention? My mother’s name was Daisy.
Judi Moreo is an author, professional speaker, and coach.
She can be reached at http://www.judimoreo.com or (702) 283-4567.