Let go and trust - May 2022

Let go and trust - May 2022

We joked this week about my blog being called ‘jam is life’. It has been a jam filled week! Jam on homemade bread, jam and scones, jam-filled bakewell. Mum did everything right and her jam stubbornly refused to set so the kitchen is awash with purgatory liquid non-jam. And although I couldn’t bring myself to title these thoughts so ridiculously, I do want to play irreverently with the parallels, because they touch lightly on my thoughts this week around expectations and control.

We can only control what we put in, and how we do it. With jam, with life, you pour in love, and you hope the result is sweet and delicious. Sometimes it works out. Often it doesn’t. You have to trust and let go. As the serenity prayer goes, give me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.

It’s okay to not know where you’re headed. To take an action on trust, not knowing how it will turn out. No one really knows, because we cannot know what the future holds, and that is one of life’s many joys. Remember what Baz Luhrman said about the most interesting 40 year olds?! You can make a choice for now because that feels like the right choice for now. I believe if you keep doing that, the future will take care of itself. Give it your best shot, and let go of expectations. If you’re not attached to how something turns out, the outcome is the same either way. Learn to just enjoy the process.

This isn’t easy and I have definitely not nailed it. True enlightenment is a long way off. But I do find the Buddhist teachings of non-attachment especially helpful when it comes to understanding my own negative reactions. It’s not about cultivating indifference but rather equanimity. If you find yourself thrown off balance, ask yourself what it is you‘re attached to. And try to let go of the expectations and just be with what is.

Tending a garden is a perfect illustration of this idea. I can plant a seed, and water it, tend the seedling with love and care. But the seedling is a life outside of mine, and it may not survive. Sometimes another creature intervenes with their own agenda. Obviously I would not like the entire garden to be consumed by our non human companions. But I think a part of growing organically is accepting that you will be sharing some of your crop with the other creatures sharing the garden.

The garden had a surprise invasion by three very cheeky lambs yesterday who I found munching on our wildflower bank. They had nibbled the hydrangeas, some cornflowers, some statice, made a few hoof prints across my beds. But so what? Their cheeky little faces made me smile. And what would being angry achieve? I don’t recall where I read this, but it is something I come back to often: anger is like a hot coal; hold onto it and you’re the one who gets burned. Let it go.

I have no idea how all these various ideas of mine are going to turn out. I have no idea if I can make my side of the business financially viable. But I won’t know if I don’t try. And I’m okay with failure, that’s a learning experience too. I can only control what I put in, and I am putting in everything I’ve got to make this work. With no expectations. I’m here for the journey.

Part of enjoying the journey is sharing what we’re doing with people like my friend Dan who came to visit this week. Dan is organising a small festival called Open Space for which I’m supplying the produce and flowers. The best I can provide is a vague outline of what will be ready on June 18. But Dan appreciates what we’re doing and has the capacity to be flexible. I will pour my heart into getting the garden ready, but I cannot control the weather. I am hopeful that the more people are exposed to the variables of growing, the more open they will be to the CSA concept of eating whatever is available locally on any given week. We have become divorced from the need to create with the food in supply by the supermarket, but the food should come first, not the recipe.

But if you’re here for this journey you already know this. And it is Saturday morning and I’m on holiday in London so I want to end this with the joy I’m feeling on being here. I’ve said it before, but if we’re not careful life can become a list of chores. It is vital that we put the chores on pause and do the things that bring us joy in order to appreciate the work. Whatever that is for you, I hope you can make space to do it this weekend. Let go of worries. Let go of expectations. Let go and have a beautiful weekend.

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