Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dormancy - Schneider

One of my joys in life is gardening. I love watching the plants sprout during the spring, monitoring their growth through the early summer weeks, and then watching colour burst forth around my yard.

I've wanted clematis for close to ten years, but never had a good place to plant one. Our current home not only has a sunny area close to the house, but also has a climbing trellis already put in place. Small problem that I'm in northern Alberta where clematis may or may not survive the winter. I just had to try. I bought a couple of plants and carefully put them in place.

However, the author of the gardening book said not to be surprised if the clematis seems to go dormant after being transplanted. These plants apparently really don't like changing location, and so they may just quit doing any visible growth for as long as a year after the transplant. The thought occurred to me, "Gardening isn't for impatient souls."

The same could be said for creativity. I am prone to fits of impatience, particularly when life forces my writing into dormancy. For example, any time my military engineer husband gets sent overseas to oversee constructing another peacekeeper camp, little writing gets done in his absence. On a smaller scale, if one of my children comes down with the flu, the computer is neglected while I tend to the young one's needs, and nurture myself by indulging in a good book or some sewing in between runs for ginger ale and crackers. But the creative life is not for the impatient. As I keep reminding myself, it's about the process, not the product. I nurture my gift, I express it in the little ways which "work" right now, and one of these days, the plant will start to grow again.

This summer marks the second full year the clematis has been in place, and it's more than I hoped for. Deep purple flowers almost entirely hid the green foliage. It's proof that patience (and adequate watering)has its rewards.

I took a picture of those blooms to post beside my computer as reminder on those days when life won't let me write, or when the writing seems like a bunch of dead twiggy things sticking out of the dirt. Patience. The bloom will come again.

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