I have been thinking a lot about dreams lately. But first let me tell you about the Watermelon Faerie that lives in my back yard.
My husband and I planted a garden this year in May. And I was so excited because I planted some watermelon starts I got from a local greenhouse. I couldn’t wait to have fresh watermelon.
These plants are tomato plants. I planted my watermelon starts in the other box.
But wouldn’t you know it. By the very next morning, one of the bunnies who lives in my back yard had eaten all of my watermelon plants.
Picture courtesy of my husband, John.
Or it could have been a bird, I’m not sure.
All the rest of the pictures in this post–photos or paintings–are by me.
I was bummed.
I knew that I probably wouldn’t be able to get more watermelon starts, and so I resigned myself to a garden without watermelon plants this summer.
A month passed, and my garden started growing like crazy. I had planted tomato plants and broccoli, kale, and cauliflower plants, which were doing great.
And my sunflowers took off, too.
And then all of a sudden, I noticed a plant growing out of one of my boxes that I couldn’t identify. It started off as a small vine. And then grew and grew and started taking over everything.
I thought maybe, just maybe it was a watermelon. But how had this happened? I was sure that the bunnies had eaten all my plants.
Well, I was delighted when about a week later, I was working in my garden and suddenly found a watermelon growing in the corner of one of my garden boxes.
And then a few days later, I went out and found another.
And then another!
And, believe it or not, my husband came in the other day and told me he had found two more watermelons growing.
So now we have five watermelons growing in our garden. I’m in love with them.
I’m so excited I started painting them.
I was researching watermelons on the internet the other day and discovered that watermelon plants grow anywhere from 1-3 watermelons.
We have five! And this happened after I was certain that the wildlife had eaten all my watermelon plants. So, apparently, my non-existent watermelon plant grew five watermelons.
I don’t completely understand how this happened.
I like to imagine that I have a Watermelon Faerie living in my back yard. Perhaps she saw my disappointment in May when I realized that the birds and bunnies had eaten all my watermelon plants.
So, generous as I imagine her, she worked her magic and conjured up a watermelon plant or two to replace the ones eaten by my ornery backyard wildlife.
Of course, it’s fun to imagine the Watermelon Faerie working her magic. But really I think there is an easier explanation for my surprise watermelon plants. And that explanation also pertains to the dreams we have and life in general.
Despite the destruction in the world, perpetrated by wildlife or other agents, there is a powerful drive towards life. Things want to live, survive, and flourish.
So although I’m certain wildlife did eat my watermelon plants initially, I think that some of the plants survived underground. And a few weeks later, my watermelon plants started growing like a maniac and producing very happy, healthy watermelons.
My exuberant watermelon plants inspire me.
I have been thinking a lot about dreams lately, and my watermelon plants have reminded me of an important lesson about dreams and life in general.
Our dreams are important, and they are meant to flourish, like plants. In facts, dreams are a lot like plants. They start small, and they need a lot of nurturing and tending to grow.
But sometimes people or other things come along and destroy them. And it’s painful when that happens. I have suffered such misfortune sometimes in my life, and I am sure you have, too.
But, Friends, dreams want to live. And often, when we suffer the destruction of our dreams, that is actually not the end of the story, although sometimes it feels like it is.
Rather, if we wait, we will find that the remnants of our dreams start growing again, much like my watermelon plants that I thought were a lost cause. I have witnessed this in my own life several times.
That is, I have watched what I thought was the destruction of one of my dreams, only to watch that dream resurface, grow, and flourish in another part of my life. This process has helped me to cultivate patience and faith when I have dream that suffers a blow or seems to take an especially long time to germinate.
But of course, sometimes certain ones of our dreams suffer devastating blows, and they never recover. What do we do with such a tragedy?
I don’t want to minimize the suffering that comes from irrevocably destroyed dreams. Rather, I want to tell you about something else my garden taught me.
My husband and I have a couple of compost bins at the side of our yard. They contain decomposing fruit and vegetable matter, along with decomposing egg shells and coffee.
It makes great soil after it decomposes, but it’s really smelly in the process. The other day, we went out to dump compost and discovered that a rogue tomato plant was growing behind our compost bin.
We certainly didn’t plant it, but there it was, thriving and flourishing in the midst of smelly, decomposing compost.
And then later, we discovered that the birds and bunnies had spread some sunflower and corn seeds from the bird feeder in our back yard. So, now we have sunflower and corn plants growing in places that we didn’t even plant.
Nature is weird, and surprising, like this. Death and destruction happen regularly in nature. But life, regeneration, and growth is happening all around us, often in surprising, smelly places, or even in places we didn’t plant things.
And our dreams are like this, too. We definitely suffer the destruction of our dreams sometimes. But there is something powerful and good working on our behalf in the world.
So, keep watching.
Because soon you will find dreams you thought had died growing again and producing beautiful fruit. Or you will find the fruit and flora of amazing dreams growing in your life where you didn’t even plant them, often in the seemingly smelly and decomposing parts of your life.
Your dreams matter and are meant to succeed, although sometimes it takes a while to see it happen. And sometimes our dreams flourish in surprising ways, and in surprising places, we don’t even expect.
Something in the world is working on your behalf–mine, too. Maybe it’s my Watermelon Faerie.
By the way, this post is approve by my cat Jackson Lebowski, famously known as Jax.
You might also like this post: Can We Achieve Anything We Can Dream?
And you might also like these posts: Bigfoot Affirmations for a Groovy State of Mind; That Poison Ivy Patch: A Love Story; and That Time I Almost Got Stuck on a Volcano.
Pretty soon, I’m going to make pickled watermelon rinds. Have you ever tried them? I’m excited to see what they are like. You can read about them here: Pickled Watermelon Rind
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