At the beginning of the summer, I answered a call for volunteers to plant balcony gardens which would be chronicled periodically in the local newspaper.  While I enjoy gardening, my muddy-fingers fix had been met only by digging in three window boxes at the edge of the balcony and so this project promised more opportunities to have some good contact with soil.  In groupings of planters and pots I planted dwarf evergreens, varieties of flowers, and a kitchen garden that included tomatoes and four different herbs.  There were two plants I especially wanted:  a lush pot of lavender and climbing clematis.  Because I was eager and impatient, the clematis I planted was a little larger than a starter and already had one gorgeous wine-red bloom on the two foot long vine.  I started to train the vine on a little twisted iron trellis I had planted in the pot and sat each day admiring her beauty. 


Last month, I was away from home for a week and a friend graciously offered to come in and water the garden.  She did so faithfully, following the written instructions I left.  When I returned home, all of the girls were doing splendidly except—-the clematis.  Over the week I was away, she suddenly withered and died.  My gardening guru called it “clematis wilt” and explained it was like the plant had a heart attack.  She advised me to throw away the pot, dirt and trellis or- at the least- toss the dirt and sterilize the pot and trellis before reuse.  I was sad and for three weeks just left the brittle remains twisted on the trellis in the corner of the balcony.  Each day, I promised myself that I’d toss the dirt and at least scrub out the pot for another use.  This morning, as I was watering the other plants I noticed a new sprout coming out of the old root.  Immediately, hope sprang up in my heart.  Could it be a resurrection?  I tore off the dead material, watered the dry soil and left the balcony with a renewed sense of hope.  Of course, it’s too early to tell what’s actually growing.  It might be a“volunteer” migrating from another balcony planter; it might be something that was dormant in the dirt.  It might be an alien life form.


In some ways, this blog is like that clematis plant.  I started the blog a while ago at the urging of my business coach and was very eager to leap into the new technology and grow a new communication stream.  Like my faithful morning watering in the garden, I wrote and posted regularly.  Then, one day, I found I had “blog wilt”.  Fresh ideas withered on the vine and never quite bloomed into postings.  I suspect most of us can relate to this experience:  planting something new – a new project, a blog, a promise to change some habit- and going at it great guns for a while then finding that the energy is gone.  There’s something daunting about the idea of trying to revive what seems to be dead so, like my blog, like my withered clematis,  we just leave it for a while, promising to “get at it today”….or tomorrow, or this weekend.  


What the little green shoot in the clematis pot tells me is that sometimes it’s OK to do just that: leave things alone for a while.  Just the act of putting out a pot of soil in the sun and keeping it watered was enough to at least get started.  While I was sorry that my initial plant died (so suddenly and so young!), I’m also intrigued by the possibilities of what might be growing now.  When initial plans fail, maybe it’s not always necessary to react and do something.  For now, I’m content to let the new plant unfurl itself.  I can make a better decision after it has revealed itself a little further.  Stay tuned.



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