• Lucy Elliott


This weekend I stood glowering as I looked out on the wintery squalor of my garden, muttering a Smeagol/Gollum snarly little argument with myself:

I wants to plant things. The yard looks like garbage.

No, stupid little hobbit. It's March. It's Fools' Spring. Don't do it.

But it's 70 degreeses! We needs to go to the garden center now!

And buy what, dummy? There's nothing but pansies because it's still legally WINTER!

But, shrubs! Bulbs!

It's going to freeze one more time. You know this. Or flood. Or some fool weather thing that hasn't been invented yet, what with climate change and all. Hold your position!

But Ah Wants It!!!

It wouldn't be so bad if the same sense of champing discontent didn't permeate my creative life. Life keeps pulling me away from the larger project I set for myself. I have all these ideas for other illustrations I want to do and absolutely no time to do them. Goals that seem more concrete than ever, yet contain so many elements out of my control. Whether I like it or not, it is not time to leap into planting yet. It's still groundwork time. And no matter how much my confidence in my abilities grows, there are some things that it just straight up isn't time for, and probably won't be in the immediate future.

I stood glaring at the loquat sapling I grew from a seed. It's about 3.5" tall now. I should be proud that it isn't dead. In reality, it's growing exactly as fast as a healthy tree is supposed to grow. But I still find myself taking it personally that it isn't growing faster. Nothing will make it grow faster. Nothing will make March pass faster. Even though the agonizing slowness of it feels like nails on a chalkboard sometimes.

I just have to remind myself not to judge myself, my career, or my garden by what it looks like in March.

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