Creativity is a cycle
Why you don't need to worry about a missed harvest
How about those apples?
Creativity is a cycle in the same way the seasons are a cycle. Sometimes it is time to lay fallow. Other times it is time to sow seeds. There is a time for nurturing our embryonic ideas and a time for harvest.
But if we don’t harvest? What if our work spoils because we forget about it or don’t have time to finish it?
Thirteen years ago, I planted four apple trees, two pear trees, and two plumb trees behind our house. This was during my good gardener phase. I carefully trained, pruned, watered, and nurtured our trees. In all that time, we’ve grown one plumb, a bushel of pears, and bushels upon bushels of apples.
For the past many years, I have been in my slothful gardener phase. I’ve let the trees grow wild. Last year I forgot to harvest the apples. Many rotted on the trees. About half of them fell to the ground and joined the food web via deer and who knows what else.
I was bummed out when I realized it was too late to pick the apples. My dreams of warm winter apple sauce and cider were shattered.
Do you know what happened?
Winter followed fall, and spring followed winter. Summer came and went, and this fall, the trees were full once again with apples.
I can never get back last season’s lost harvest. But I can enjoy the fruits of my long ago labor this year.
Life is not a productivity competition. Sometimes you will miss your harvest window. It’s okay to be sad. But don’t get discouraged. The seasons will cycle around again, and you will have another harvest.
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