Let us begin

Fall is the time to plant bulbs and prepare for a beautiful spring lawn! Keukenhof, the Netherlands, April 2007

Fall is the time to plant bulbs and prepare for a beautiful spring lawn!
Keukenhof, the Netherlands, April 2007

“All this will not be finished in the first one hundred days. Nor will it be finished in the first one thousand days . . .nor even perhaps in our lifetime on this planet. But let us begin.”
John F. Kennedy

One thing that bothers me most about contemporary culture is our collective impatience to see everything done quickly.  There are quite a few things we can mass-produce rather than lovingly craft, and “that takes too much time” is a common indictment of all sorts of bygone skills and nearly forgotten ways of life.

But some things cannot be rushed, and some things require advance planning and organization.  An elaborate holiday feast for family, a handmade gift for a special friend, the training of a new puppy or kitten; all take time that yields a rich return for our patience.

Don’t you love colorful spring flowers?  Now is the time to plant some bulbs!  I remember the first year I ever bought a lot of daffodil bulbs. During the hard work of planting them, I became irritated with myself for having bought so many bulbs in my enthusiasm.  In the chilly fall I dug and dug until my hands were sore, but now, nearly ten years later, I still enjoy seeing my favorite flowers in the very early spring.  Some of them have spread beyond the initial planting.  It took time, but it was worth it.

A lovely lawn or garden; a well-behaved child; a uniquely hand-crafted furnishing or decoration — all these and more will make the world more beautiful for all of us.  It’s hard work, and we won’t see the results immediately…but let us begin!

This post was first published seven years ago today. The original post, comments and photo are linked, along with two other related posts, below. These links to related posts, and their thumbnail photos, do not appear in the blog feed; they are only visible when viewing the individual posts by clicking on each one. I have no idea why, nor do I know how they choose the related posts. That’s just the way WordPress does things.

6 Comments

  1. Good morning, Julia!
    These are inspiring words, at a time when our nation needs to begin the process of healing.
    I have begun to educate myself on my inherent biases and connect myself to resources that can help me find ways to make a positive change where I can.
    I used to think that I would live to see equality in my lifetime, but I no longer have that delusion. I suppose that makes it even more important to start working toward that right now.

    • Equality will never be achieved because it keeps being re-defined, and the focus keeps shifting from one issue to another; from one group to another. Ever heard that it’s hard to hit a moving target? As soon as one milestone is reached, a fresh grievance is trotted out and the process begins anew. If that sounds cynical, it’s only because reality is often a harsh thing. Eventually, most of us will (hopefully) learn to be content with moving in the right direction, and realizing that nothing good happens overnight.

  2. Susan

    Julie, as happens often, you have the perfect column that I need. I’m looking at the large array of bulbs on one of my counters, which of course are taking longer to get into the ground than I anticipated when I ordered them! But I will persevere — thanks for the boost! (And really with the weather as nice as it has been this fall, I have no excuse …)

    I haven’t been to Keukenhof Gardens but after two friends went a few years ago and posted glorious photos, I put it on my must-do list.

    • Susan, I have some daffodil bulbs in my garage that I keep (conveniently) forgetting about. Maybe I should put them on my counter! Yes, you must go to Keukenhof. My sister and I were to have gone this year, at the first of April, but it was not to be. Still, it’s a wonderful thing to daydream about…

  3. Susan

    Oh, I’m sorry you weren’t able to go. We missed several trips this year as well. We’ll have to keep daydreaming, for sure.

    At least this soaking rain we’re getting right now will motivate me to get bulbs into the ground over the next week while it’s still soft.

    • I still haven’t gotten my bulbs in, but this is a good reminder! Lots of work to do in my yard – I hope we get some pretty weather next week. I heard on the radio that this is supposed to be a milder-than-normal winter. No complaints from me on that!

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