This summer three volunteer plants in my garden have offered me cosmos, lovely little blossoms of pink sweetness.
Last year I planted a packet of cosmos seeds. Enjoyed them. Let them go in the fall, with appreciation. After all, they are annuals.
Mostly I grow perennials, loving the rhythms of return, my chosen goodness coming back year after year.
When those volunteers came up, they surprised me. They didn’t fit in with my plan. Yet how could I resist? As you might expect of someone named “Rose Rosetree,” I’m a bit of a flower freak.
Yes, I would keep these unexpected blessings of the floral variety.
Still, as the delicate little startings began, I developed an expectation. Since I was accepting these volunteers, all of them would conform to my standards. Just like the photographs on my packet of seeds, every specimen would be perfect. Each would look like the other, a nicely matched set.
Good Luck with That!
Within days, two out of three of these cosmos grew alarming (for a perfectionist gardener anyway).
- One plant developed just as expected. The size I expected. Little buds forming nicely, too.
- Another grew the same size but without any buds. What was up with that?
- While the third was beginning to look seriously like a weed: No buds. Even worse, it grew four times the size of my primly perfect little volunteer #1.
These flowers aren’t like my clients or students, where I care about each one without exception. Rosetree Energy Spirituality (RES) isn’t just skills. They are skills applied. To individual people. Of course, interest and respect are required; I learn to appreciate every single client, quirks and all. Otherwise, I don’t make more appointments.
But these were plants, for heaven’s sake. Recreational plants, chosen for beauty. Okay, not chosen, but accepted.We had garden appointments, for sure.
Three cosmos plants, turning out to be less and less like what I expected. Yet I could afford to see what developed. I became curious. Reminiscent of a recent conversation we had here about spontaneity versus structure (For this see the comments more than the original article)!
Spontaneous curiosity was stronger than my structured ideals about floral conformity.
What I Got
A month later, Cosmos #1 brings forth a reliable, wonderful bouquet of bright pink flowers. They sway gently in the wind and bravely bend to the rain.
Cosmos #3 has grown somewhat, yet no flowers seem to be forthcoming. Still, I keep it around. No expectation of flowers, just enjoyment for those brambly, lacy leaves. Besides, it adds a fine contrast, because right between that and Cosmos #1, ta da!
That Cosmos #2 is living large, a floral superstar. Five times the height and five times the flowers.
Not reliable, kind of wild. A strong seed, apparently. Going its own way, quite definitely.
In the Photo at the Top of this Post
You can see Cosmos #1 and Cosmos #3. While Cosmos #2 doesn’t show, given the camera angle.
Actually it doesn’t show much to the casual passerby, glancing at my little garden.
Yet all three plants have taught me something. Taught me lessons about conformity, predictability, and when expectations doesn’t matter at all.
- Gardening, I believe in free will. As in the rest of my life, this gardener takes responsibility for her choices, following up, solving problems.
- Determinism doesn’t make for a very interesting garden, unless you are partial to weeds. (Yes, I’m comparing excessive surrender to fate being like… cultivating a garden full of weeds.)
- What about free will plus some meant-to-be? That’s how I wind up living. Because the unexpected outcomes can be savored as everyday co-creation with God.
And why would ideas about conformity be required for that?