Brenda’s Blog – March 13, 2018
“Natalie’s Garden and Nursery”
The colorful sign with floral details drew my attention. The lettering was feminine yet not fussy. The painted door welcomed visitors. The crudely drawn word “CLOSED” and the overgrown weeds indicated the end of Natalie’s dream. The care taken in the front walk, the small Victorian building, and the hope of sharing her love for gardening were still apparent, but the condition of the property told a story of a journey’s end.
I have no idea what happened. Did the small Alabama town not share the vision of a quaint enterprise? Did the little house tucked off the main road deter customers? Did Natalie run out of money? Did she experience staff, health, or personal relationship problems?
I will never know, but it made me think about other dreams which grew for a time then bore the CLOSED placard. Why do some flourish and others fail? Why are some nurtured while others collapse?
These life turns can be learning moments for us. We can give our dreams a decent burial, take away the lessons, and focus on the next step. But this is the rub. Too many times we cradle the lifeless hope, wishing vitality to return. We think perseverance means never throwing in the towel, but stubbornness results in throwing way too many hours, and dollars after it. Churchill is quoted for his “never, never, never give up.” However, there is another maxim which aptly guides: “When the horse is dead, dismount.”
As I drove down the road I considered Natalie and wished for her a productive, blooming life. I envisioned a sense of adventure with other gardens of different varieties blossoming. Perhaps this enterprise had a short lifetime (based on the brightness of the paint and landscaping), but somewhere Natalie is taking this experience and turning it into something beautiful.
I also thought about the dreams in my life… some expanded beyond my imagining; others deflated like a week old helium balloon. But I am stronger, wiser, and even more optimistic. I know myself, my gifts, and strengths… yes. But I also know what areas need serious bolstering where potholes lie in wait for my dream mobile.
Dreams energize us. The excitement of seeing an idea come to life vitalizes us. We must never give up looking ahead, but we must also know that dreams can have expiration dates and the wisdom to read the code helps us grow.