Is this the year? When do you give up on a crop and count your loses? Did the crop fail because the weather was bad or was it something I did or didn’t do?

So many countless questions swirl around in our heads…. oftentimes we compare ourselves with fellow gardeners always wondering, “How was your year or crop of such and such.”

Gate to the “secret garden”

I stumbled onto this wonderful site from the Rodale Institute (NewFarm.org) and really enjoyed this article about a New York family on farm… puts things into perspective.

DEFENSIVE Farming by Mary-Howell Martens

…One line in the poem says, “If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain or bitter, for there will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble. It is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.” Generally, I have been struck by the good sense in Desiderata, but this line is wrong. There are not greater or lesser PERSONS. There may be people who appear to have achieved greater or lesser levels of success at the moment. But moments change, as do relative achievement levels.

In times of stress, it is tempting to look for people in worse condition and think “I’m not doing so badly if Fred is doing worse, Ron’s weeds really got away from him, Dave’s corn hasn’t even started tasseling yet, and did you hear how badly John’s wheat sprouted?” There is definitely a seductive lure to this approach. Undeniably, it does make you feel better … for awhile. But it is neither a healthy nor productive response. It certainly doesn’t make our crops grow any better, and it doesn’t make friends who will support us when we have tough times.

Real lasting contentment comes from enjoying our own situation as it is, even if it is not perfect. Real contentment comes from not gloating over the neighbor’s failures or agonizing over their success. Real lasting contentment comes from working with other people and having good friends, a strong supportive community, and happy families. To be sure, sometimes it is mighty hard to see any of our own achievements and success, but there will always be some if we look hard enough.

Weather Report: Cooler.

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