Without really understanding why, I felt compelled to start volunteering one morning a week at a vegetable garden this spring.

Learning, being outdoors, exercising, connecting with lovely people, all while serving an organization I care deeply about. I absolutely love it all. 

So many lessons, not just about gardening, but about life.


It takes epic transformation for a seed to become food.

Seed. Soil. Sunlight. Water. Add fertilizer, pull weeds. Mitigate the effects of nibbling critters (humanely). Chat with the plants now and then. Behold in amazement as seeds transform into plants, grow flowers, and produce tomatoes, cucumbers, strawberries, food

As the seeds transform, the entire garden transforms, too. From bare earth to green plants, delicious scents, butterflies, bees, worms, slugs, bugs, and impossibly tiny tree frogs.

Humans – gardeners and visitors – transform as well. Smiles grow. Muscles strengthen, hearts expand, connection to others and earth deepen.


The timing of all this transformation feels oddly . . . . flexible.

Time seems to fly on the cool March morning when you put those first seeds in the ground. As you wait for them to grow, it slows to a standstill. Two hours of weeding during a July heat wave or rainstorm feels like a lifetime, while two hours harvesting crops fly by, even in similarly awful weather.

Transformation and timing felt especially magical the morning we harvested potatoes. Planting them months before, getting the rows straight and deep enough, felt like forever, waiting for the first leaves to appear, eons. 

The morning of the harvest, two hours passed in what felt like the blink of an eye. We laughed, clapped, and cheered every single time one of us turned over the soil to discover that, as if by magic, potatoes had grown exactly where we planted them.

Three months of waiting – and tending – vanished in what felt like an instant. 

You Know There’s a Metaphor, Right?

Transformation and timing are factors whether you’re growing a garden or navigating a life.

Sometimes it feels like it takes an unbearable amount of effort and time for a seed of an idea or a desire to show even the tiniest sign of growth. Other times massive transformation seems to happen in the blink of an eye.

No matter how quickly or slowly it happens, when the conditions are right, good seeds, ideas, desires, can’t help but grow, the transformation they spark becoming inevitable.

With the right ingredients and conditions – starting with clarity about your values, strengths, and priorities – the seeds of ideas and dreams you long to cultivate can’t help but grow as well, the transformation they spark in you becoming inevitable too.

So what are you longing to grow? How do you want to transform?

Whether it takes a few months or a lifetime, the time to plant the seeds of transformation is now.

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image (header): ©2019 Julia Lo; used with permission
image (potato): ©2019 Florence Moyer
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