Gardening, I’ve learned, is a year-long endeavor. There is no summer break, winter holiday, or vacation from it. If I want my garden to remain good ground for all manner of vegetation and floral landscape, I have to work – all – year – long. I make it sound tireless, but honestly, there are few things I love more. Nothing compares to the therapeutic turning of soil, the joy of a long awaited bud, and the satisfaction of cooking a vegetable that was once just a seed. Gardening helps me clear my head, the mechanics of getting your hands dirty does that. The art of it has taught me patience, how to bounce back from a failed crop, and that nothing says, “Welcome to the neighborhood!” like fresh cut flowers & a basket of tomatoes.
The parallels between gardening and life are many. The saying “What you reap, you sow,” is true. What we make of the day-to-day is what becomes of our lives. Everyday, I aim to love people well, choose joy, and work hard. I want people to feel good about themselves when they are with me, and I want to make an impact in my city. The central opportunity I have to do this is through my Real Estate career. There, too, you reap what sow, and the harvest follows the plow. Each time I receive a new client, it is usually through referral – another relationship I have invested in and built over the last 13 years. This “fruit” of my labor is connected to the kind of seeds I’ve planted. As partners, business owners, parents, friends, and citizens of our cities, we all get that choice. When we are lazy, inconsiderate, going through life with our heads down, the outcomes usually represent that. What we get from those kinds of seeds are inconsequential connections, few and small transactions, and minimal impact.
Mercifully, the opposite is always true. When we are motivated, kind, intentional with each interaction, and consistent, our fruit – no matter how long awaited – is healthy and in great supply. This kind of fruit is never an accident, and only sprouts when we plant in the right places. No successful gardener would take a chance scattering seed on the concrete, hoping for an abundant harvest. We have to invest ourselves in the kind of environments, ventures, and relationships that are good soil! For 13 years, San Leandro has been my soil. I know this city well, I love its people, and it is truly my home.
January is almost up, and maybe the motivation or sense of a fresh start is beginning to wear off. Let’s not lose sight of the things we want in this life. This could be the year of business breakthrough, mended relationships, or taking that leap you’ve been putting off for years. The things we want most can happen for us, but we have to be committed to gardening. Choosing our seeds, observing our soil, waiting when necessary, and diligently tending to those dreams. It is never too late, we are never too young or old, and we are never too smart to learn more and try again. Each day is a new beginning, a new opportunity to “sow seed” into yourself and the life you imagine. What’s that book you need to read? That conference or retreat you should register for? What’s next? It’s an exciting thing to contemplate. Don’t stop there – grab your plow, put those gloves on, and let’s scatter seed.
Until next time,