This morning I logged a whole 1.3 miles in about an hour. It was 1.3 miles dedicated to a random act of kindness. I’m thinking about making RAK miles a part of my mileage goal. Even 10% – at 25 miles/week, I will be accomplishing 2.5 miles of kindness. What makes up RAK miles? Well, this morning it was watering, pruning, and fertilizing the 20-25 flower baskets here at the campground. It could be picking up trash, doing errands for someone else (on foot or however you log your intentional miles). Think about it – miles of smiles, miles for smiles, smiling for miles – whatever lights you up. You don’t get tangible “bling” for these – but you do get the “feel good bling” on the inside.
On to the flowerpot grace. The flower baskets here are the typical plastic hanging pots. The owners planted 3 petunias per pot. Honestly, they look kind of bare right now – but they also represent a whole lot of faith. Faith that the plants will flourish and fill the pots with beautiful blooms. As it usually does, my mind started to wander, and ponder the planters. What if, instead of 3 plants, they had planted 6 or 8? The pots would have looked much prettier in the beginning. As the plants began to grow and expand, they would be crowded and eventually growth would be stunted. They would compete for water and nutrients, and some would wither and die. Choosing 3 plants gives them space to grow, and ample opportunity and access to food and water. With careful tending – pruning, watering, and nourishing – these plants will grow strong and healthy and produce beautiful blooms.
Pruning the “dead heads” allows the plants to focus on producing blooms instead of putting energy instead seed pods. Certainly there is a time to allow the plant to produce seeds – that is topic for another discussion. In general, though, pruning allows for the removal of that which no longer serves the plant. Watering and nourishing, of course, encourages growth.
I’m sure you can already see where I’m going with this. If we see the flowerpot as our life, this is a grace lesson about what we put in that flowerpot. It is so tempting to want to fill it with all the beautiful flowers – that are already in bloom – showy and fragrant. “Flowers” like activities, commitments, people, work, volunteer organizations, family, friends, possessions, etc. Just like flowers – some of these are “annuals” – only around for a season, biennials – around a little longer, and perennials – around for a very long time. We should choose a balanced blend for our own flowerpot. Some showy blooms are good, and green plants that haven’t yet budded or bloomed are just as essential. The green plants are lessons in patience and faith.
Overfilling our flowerpot will lead to frustration and burnout. Been there, done that, emptied the pot and replanted! It’s always a good thing to spend some time checking out your flowerpot. What needs to be pruned? Put to bed for a season? Is there an empty space that needs to be filled? Or a dead plant that is taking up space? Are you watering and nourishing growth?
- RAK miles – let’s make them a thing!
- Spend some time carefully checking out your flowerpot…what needs to be done?