Winter Planning - Spring Planting
Summer Husbandry - Autumn Harvest
Summer, that vibrant season when life is active, expanding, producing. There is new growth everywhere. There is new life feeding upon that growth. There are storms and there are calm periods. There are periods of heat and drought and hours and hours of sunlight. And there are times when the living is easy.
Summer is the season for concentrated effort, to make the most of its long days. Summer is the season of life for nurturing the seeds planted in the Spring toward maturity. Those seeds have now germinated into viable entities that require focussed attention so that the autumn harvest will be bountiful. We must see that they are not choked out by weeds, that they have plenty of water and nutrients and that they are safe from attack by parasites and other damaging pests. With constant vigilance through this season, we are able to say to ourselves in the autumn that we did the best job possible.
With so much to do in Summer, we must focus on enhancing efficiency in our tasks, to minimize wasted effort. Efficiency can be improved by re-evaluating each day where waste occurred in our efforts, where time was lost, where unnecessary energy was expended. If we are efficient, our resources will go further, and our eventual harvest will be greater. Remember that being busy is not necessarily being productive. Spend time on the important tasks, not necessarily those with the loudest cry of urgency, for many of these are weeds.
At the same time we must strive to produce the highest quality product without damaging ourselves or our environment. In the Spring when the seeds were planted, a goal was envisioned for the harvest. Review that goal now in all its detail. Look for areas of improvement, those little extra things that will enhance the harvest.
Summer is also a time for renewing our self-esteem and our emotional and physical health, because we will be faced with much competition from weeds and other pests for our energy and products. Weeds are a constant aggravation during the summer months. If left unattended, they will sap the energy from your efforts and diminish the quality of your product. There are many potential hazards to the survival of our crop. Beware of those many agents which work to deter us from our task. They can surround us, robbing us of the strength needed to reach our goals. Thwart those which can be foreseen. For those which could not be avoided, note them for reference during the next winter's planning. If some portion of our harvest is lost or when setbacks strike, we should not kick ourselves. After all, we are not perfect.
If we have strong self-esteem, we can view any setback in the context of the big picture of life, knowing that we will learn from the incident. Realize that the most important opinion about ourselves is the one that we hold. Recognize too that setbacks are an integral part of life and not a comment about our worthiness. Renewal of our health and self-esteem during the summer will keep our confidence and energy level high.
Summer is the prime time for observation. Keep your senses finely tuned to all that is going on around you. Take time at regular intervals to stop and reassess the situation given the facts at hand. Ask yourself: did I plant the right seeds? Did I plant at the right time? Am I working efficiently and using resources wisely? Were my goals and expectations reasonable? Are the problems I see really problems, or are they illusions cast by myself or others? Could I have foreseen setbacks or failures? Is there another opportunity hidden within my problem areas? What went right? How can I improve next time? If we observe and make notes during the growing season, we can refer to them during the coming seasons of evaluation and planning, rather than relying solely on memory which may be affected by later events such as the outcome of the harvest.
Summer is also a time for endurance, of sticking to the course set in the Winter and Spring. It is a time for self-discipline and perseverance. Expect to move toward your goal and to improve the journey with time. See setbacks as an important part of the learning process. Failure is a natural part of life, the way we learn. How you perceive failure is how it is; so turn failure into fertilizer. Harvest it for the information it contains, then compost its empty shell.
Finally, summer is the season for optimism. All conditions are there for success, all you need to do is incorporate them into your life. Smile. Sing. Dance. Make love. Enjoy the sun and the rain. Enjoy the bounty of the seasons. Revel in the wonders of nature. The world is a wonderful place if you believe it is so. Life can be rewarding if you will it to be.
Work efficiently and with enthusiasm. Keep your self-esteem, health and endurance strong. Observe the movement of life around you. And above all, be optimistic. If you do, at the end of each day you will be able to watch the sun set and know that you have given your best effort. Sleep will come easily and be restful. Soon the harvest will begin. And then the celebration of work well done.
Life's Season: Summer Husbandry by Keith C. Heidorn, PhD . ©1997, All Rights Reserved.
Living Gently Quarterly is published by Keith C. Heidorn ©2006, All Rights Reserved.. Correspondence may be sent to: email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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