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What do you water, what do you grow?

I once had someone tell me they were a plant manager. I said, “do you work for one of the big three automakers”?  He said, ”no I work at home”.  I said,  “that must be difficult being away from the plant”. He said, “No, all my plants are at home”.  I decided not to ask if they were tomatoes.

I went to Arizona many years ago and really loved the desert. I was so amazed at the huge cacti. They are survivors in some of the worst and harshest environments. So I bought a little cactus from a souvenir shop and brought it home on the airplane. My friend Larry told me it would be dead in Michigan after a couple of months. That was like 5 years ago and it still lives.  I guess I was determined to prove him wrong.

That sort of launched me into a few indoor plants. 

So about 10 months ago I planted some seeds that I took out of a Carolina Reaper.  The Reaper is the hottest (spiciest) confirmed pepper in the world.  Developed by South Carolina breeder Ed Currie, the pepper is red and gnarled, with a bumpy texture and small pointed tail that looks like a stinger or scorpion tail.

Fast forward to this Spring and I had 40 Reaper plants started in my kitchen, which my wife called the jungle and was not very happy with.   

Due to some May snow,  Michigan’s governor outlawing gardening for a short time, and the fact that I had never had a garden before, the transition to the outside was not very smooth.  I think the plants made it outside about the second week of June and just in time for some really hot days.      

I roto-tilled the ground and spent days preparing the soil. I then placed about 20 plants in the ground that had lush green leaves.  Within about 5 days they were all dead and all the leaves had fallen off the plants. The transition from 65 degrees to 90+ was too much for the plants. They did not adapt well.     

I then proceeded to water 20 sticks in the ground that looked worse than Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree.  I gazed across almost a year’s worth of work and all I could see was those dried up twigs that looked like kindling for a fire.  Total failure after a lot of hard work is not a fun outcome.  

I remembered from watching the movie “A Walk in the Clouds” that although everything looks like death on the outside, life can remain inside. So I continued to water and water, the dried sticks.

One of the most famous written statements about love starts out like this. Love is patient, Love is kind.  The author goes on to talk about all the many things that love is but why did he start out with “Love is patient” as the very first descriptor concerning love. I think this was on purpose because it is the very first thing we need to learn about love.   

I must admit that am not very patient and that may be why I don’t show love as well as I should. However, there it is, in black and white “Love is patient”.   I am told the Bamboo seed has to be watered for 3 to 5 years before its sprouts through the ground but once it does it can grow to 90 feet in around 6 weeks.      

So why all this waiting, why are things so difficult, and why can’t great results happen instantly?

I guess the answer is because life is not designed that way. 

For some reason, great success seems to come through great trials and tribulations, great periods of waiting and maintaining great patience.  Greatness cannot be rushed.  Wine requires time to age, fishing requires time to wait, and great BarBQue requires low temperature and many hours of slow smoldering smoke.        

Great leadership and success in business mean being great with people.   Being great with people means learning the “Love is Patient” concept.  Being great with people means dedicating time to the relationship and being patient through the process. 

There is a lot of pressure these days to produce, multitask, and even remove the human component. The Pandemic has moved us away from people, the social unrest causes us to question motives and people’s hearts, things are clearly difficult and the great results are not instantaneous. 

We want to change but are we willing to change, are we willing to love and be patient? 

About half of my plants have come back with some small leaves on them, after watering them for another month and a half. One plant has 3 peppers on it and just one of those has turned orange (on its way to red).

Right now a years’ worth of work has produced the prospect of one pepper coming to harvest, however, the story is not over yet.  Other plants are starting to flower and I see the beginning of what might be tiny peppers that will take a month or so to grow.        

We need to slow down a little and show love a whole lot more.  We will then see exponential results from our practice of patience. Love is Patient, Love is kind. However, we might not see the fruit of our labor right away or we may not see the quantity of fruit we had hoped for. However, if we keep loving even when there is no outward sign that it is working, we will see results. Just keep on watering.

Now shower (people) the seeds in your life and watch them grow. Go show love, go show patience, and you will see growth.  

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