Passion & Gardening

sunflower photo by AnneI must admit, for the past week I have been in a funk. It started Saturday afternoon, with this weird overall feeling of ennui. I was at a wine festival (Zinfest) that i had really been looking forward to attending.  I was annoyed with myself and my attitude, as well as puzzled. Whenever my emotions get ahead of my reasoning process, I try not to panic. Instead I patiently wait until the answer pops into my head when least expected.

The morning of this day I filmed  a vegetable gardening episode which took 2x as long to film than normal, (annoying technical difficulties) and I should have been really bothered by all the delays.  However, during and after the filming (a total of like 5 hours) I was on an amazing high. I would describe it as what it must feel like on a drug…maybe LSD? (not sure, just guessing here).  It was basically a state of absolute euphoria.

While we filmed the episode, I planted vegetables and told the world (okay, the camera) all the thoughts in my brain about growing food, plant facts, square foot gardening info, and tidbits like why a tomato is a vegetable and not a fruit. I shared my passion.

I RARELY use the word passion. I still cringe a little when I say/type it. (it’s been so overused).  However, it’s the only word that describes the combination of emotions that I felt. I followed my bliss (ala Joseph Campbell), but at the same time, was left with an underlying twinge of pain and sadness. Pain that I’m unable to use my passion for gardening/horticulture EVERY day, that I have so little time during the week to prepare for gardening episodes or write a blog, that I can’t read horticulture books and diagnose plant problems at work (2007-2009 job). Losing that position (stinkin budget cuts) was terrible. Tasting what “could” be and then having it taken away “sucked.”

Last night, I found my passion again. I connected with a “gardening friend.” We talked about plants, exchanged ideas and she shared her books with me. Suddenly, I was on a high…again! But before the pain could enter the equation, I stopped it. Because I realized that passion can be found everyday by getting dirt under my fingernails, talking to a friend about plants, or adding an insect to my collection.

What I’m trying to say is: don’t give up on your passion. Don’t trade anything for it. If you believe in a soul, giving up your passion is like selling your soul to the devil (if you believe in a devil). When you don’t express yourself, you depress yourself! (Cheri Huber’s words, not mine).

Being the host of a garden show that offers a decent salary and benefits, that is my dream. Touring the world talking about plants is another.  I’ve decided not to give up on my dreams. It doesn’t mean everything will be perfect,and that I’ll be blissful 24/7. If I don’t feel pain, how can I recognize happiness? At the same time, I can’t sit around moping, waiting for it to happen. I have to be proactive, and keep my passion alive in the little things along the way.

And it’s my hope that you, too, gentle reader, won’t give up on yours. 🙂



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