Posts Tagged ‘Robert Lewis Stevenson quote’

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant. (Robert Louis Stevenson, novelist, essayist, and poet, 1850-1894) 

I decide to let my two older grandchildren know their overnight visit is important by serving their breakfast on our good china.

However, I am in more of a hurry than I realize. One of my husband’s favorite gold-edged beer glasses falls and shatters on our hardwood floor as soon as I unlatch the cabinet door.

“Oh, oh, got a delay here,” I say, although that isn’t really what I am thinking. Irritation wants to rise and boil inside me—at my lack of awareness, at my eagerness to bite off more than I can chew.

Fortunately my husband doesn’t complain. He simply suggests vacuuming as well as sweeping, and I tell the girls that shoes are a must right now, whether they match their jammies or not.

“What’s a delay?” seven-year-old Rebe asks.

“It means something isn’t going to happen exactly on time,” I say.

Rebe doesn’t appear to completely understand.

“You know,” ten-year-old Kate says. “When it snows we have a two-hour delay. That means school starts later.”

I’m distracted; Kate uses examples her little sister recognizes. I’m grateful for my number-one granddaughter’s explanation. I turned down the heat on the stove before I grabbed the broom. But without saying a word, Kate has made the texture of our scrambled eggs look terrific. And I thank her for her helpfulness.

I think about how easily this moment could have gone downhill. I was upset that my plans were interrupted by my own clumsiness. And I was one-frayed-hair-away from allowing a long stream of inappropriate language from destroying the atmosphere.

At a settled, much more comfortable time later, I consider how strange life can be. In our culture we deify the perfect score on a test, the body with the ideal BMI, the quintessential existence that fits on a travel magazine cover, but never inside a real-life experience. Yet, the sequoia, the oldest and largest tree on earth, depends upon fire to flourish. Fire prepares the soil and allows the seed to germinate. Individuals who have always been coddled curdle when they discover the sun doesn’t revolve around their needs. Plants need a balance of both sun and rain to grow.

Somehow I suspect that the human being needs just enough imperfection to be real. A flower, a tomato, or an oak isn’t promised fruition by any single seed. Perhaps that is why we need so many of them. And thank goodness life offers more than one patience-test. A pass-fail system would put most of us in jeopardy.

planting seeds

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