“In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.” — Margaret Atwood, author

Springflowers

As an avid amateur gardener, I can tell you that l am itching to dig in. Gardeners in Minnesota, however, have all learned the fine art of protracted patience. Even as I write this, there is snow glistening on the trees. So, I’ll just dream a little.

Gardening appeals to me on a number of different levels. First and foremost is the process, which almost mandates a quiet, meditative state of mind. The simple acts of digging, planting, weeding and watering are slow and thoughtful by nature. The problems of the world don’t disappear in the garden, but they do shift around. I can’t tell you the number of times I have gained important perspectives on challenges, just by pulling some weeds for a while.

It’s hard not to have an outcomes orientation in gardening. The aesthetics of the beautiful blooms and their explosions of color emerging throughout the spring, summer and fall never fail to take my breath away.

There are all kinds of analogies that I suppose I could draw between gardening and the business world. The importance of planning… of investing the time upfront to make sure the soil is ready… of putting in the time along the way to ensure a successful crop… But for now, I’m just going to dream a little about the harvest to come.

Someday soon, we’ll all be able to stop and smell the flowers. I’m planting that seed now.