Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Regrowing Ideas

My very first job was on a farm. I planted, tended, harvested, and sold vegetables; strawberries in June, squash, tomatoes, peppers in July, and corn in August. It was a lot of work, but it meant having a job outside in the nice weather and though it involved getting up at dawn most days, I would also get to end my workday in the early afternoon.

Today, I live in the city, and I don't have a lot of garden space, but I do like to attempt gardening in pots. There is always something amazing about planting a seed and watching it grow into something bigger.

Left: May 26, Right: June 4

Two weeks ago, I saw a photo on Pinterest that led to an article on replanting roots. Since I had some green onions in my fridge that were almost used up, I saved them, and planted them. Today, they are thriving! It's an amazing idea, to save something you might otherwise compost or throw away and find that it can grow back and be used again. 

But green onions aren't the only things you can coax back to life. Months ago, I buried an avocado pit in soil, hoping to bring it to life. Nothing seemed to happen with it, but I let it be, in sunlight, and kept quietly hoping it would do something. 

Lo and behold, a few weeks ago I started seeing life. This is my avocado plant today. After a long while of incubation, it's ready to grow into something bigger.

In business school, one of my wise classmates often remarked during group projects, "That's a great idea, but where does it fit in the project?" The answer was to create a "parking lot" for those ideas, to stay until we found a place for them (if there was indeed a place for them).

Ideas are your seeds, your roots, your pits. They may be new ideas, like a packet of seeds, that just need time to grow. They might be old ideas to reconsider, like green onion roots that just need replanting. Or they may be bigger ideas that have to sit and incubate, waiting for the right moment to emerge.

As a gardener, I watch my plants, look for signs of overwatering, too little light, dryness, anything that might keep them from reaching their full potential. When dealing with ideas, you must steward them, find the right place for them, the right medium to allow them also to emerge into their full potential.