Life Lessons from the Garden

Two varieties of daisies grace the flowerpots on our deck. One plant puts up buds on tall stems. When they open they make a lovely show well above the greenery, smiling in the sunshine. Unfortunately we haven’t had much sunshine lately, except for the liquid kind, and yesterday I noticed how the sodden flowers sagged, their dejected faces drooping under the weight of rain.

Argyranthemum ‘White Butterfly’

Blooms in the other pot, however, still have their cheery wet faces lifted despite the moisture. The difference? Their stems are shorter, so rather than being on their own, they’re able to gain support from the greenery that surrounds them.

Argyranthemum ‘Lovey Dove’

We might learn a little something from these daisies – that when faced with difficulties, those who are stubbornly independent and keep to themselves, may find it difficult to hold up. Rejection or failure to reach a particular goal can push them to defeat.

Those who have a network of support, on the other hand, receive the encouragement they need to remain strong and keep looking upwards.

Who knew daisies would have life lessons to share with us?

Are you the stoic, independent sort, or do you prefer to be immersed in a network of supportive friends?

~

“It’s better to have a partner than go it alone. Share the work, share the wealth.
And if one falls down, the other helps, but if there’s no one to help, tough!”

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 [Msg]

~  ~  ~

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9 thoughts on “Life Lessons from the Garden

  1. Katt says:

    I need the support and love of my friends. I guess I’m one of the daisies! What a great analogy! Blessings to you my friend!

  2. Judith Robl says:

    Such a simple thing.. like a daisy. We all need community.

  3. I see your analogy,..but when I look at the “independent plant” I know it shot up and got leggy because it wasn’t receiving enough sun, not because of it’s temperament. or character.
    In most cases I would say though, it’s better to go with someone and have a back up. On the other hand, being an artist by nature, I find a tremendous need for solitude. it is in the solitude that the best ideas germinate, in the private rhythm of thought, that would not survive if it was bombarded with outer influence. Often I find once the creative rhythm is broken, like a delicate tapestry, it is near impossible to get back to it, the fuel is lost. After ideas germinate though, they often go through stages that may or may not do better with support depending on the particular need or phase.
    For the Ecclesiastes, why does it have to be always one or the other! Why can’t it be both. It takes a lot for granted, for instance, that the other is well enough to help. What if not? Double tough?? A lot of the community support systems these days, have totally been deconstructed, if not completely destroyed. It’s simply not there-it’s bleak.

  4. Carol says:

    I’m happy to ‘see’ you all this morning. Welcome, and thanks for your comments. I appreciate you sharing your different opinions. Our need for companionship may vary depending on our personalities, but I think most of us have to rely on people to help meet occasional other needs. Like Cedarpineword, during creative times I need my solitude, but I need assistance to get the results of that creativity out into the public eye.

    “The Message” version of this Ecclesiastes passage is rather heartless-sounding at the end, isn’t it? A little controversial? The older King James Version is gentler:
    “Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow: but woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.”
    It’s certainly true that many of our present day community support systems are struggling, thanks to funding cuts and a shift in emphasis. It’s very hard on those who require assistance. That’s when an advocate is helpful.

    BTW, that particular daisy is in a location that gets direct light all day long. I’ve had the same variety other years and its blooms are always carried above the foliage. It’s interesting how each of four varieties I have here are all so different. I’m particularly fond of the double Esther Reeds, altho’ their moppy blooms also sag easily in our abundant rain. There are pros and cons to being a west coast gardener. :)

  5. Support is always helpful. Even if it takes awhile to realize that’s what you’re getting. Of course writing needs solitude, or we’d never get the “work” done. I believe it takes reaching out too, re finding a “family” of like interests. No, it’s not an easy find, and I feel most blessed to have one.

  6. S. Etole says:

    Daisies are my favorite flower, and I tend to fall between the two types depending on the need and the available support.

  7. torimcrae says:

    Gee, Carol. Is it possible to be both. In personality I am stoic and independent, but I am also pragmatic and have a strong support group through my church friends and my children. I’ve been a “practicing” * Christian for 43 years and I am well aware of the verse in Ecclesiastes (& similar ones). Perhaps that is where the pragmatic response to trouble comes from.

    We once gave a ride to a young woman who, with her arms full of clothing, was trying to pjsh a child in a stroller. She was homeless. She was planning on avoiding one of the best support systems in our town and moving on to somewhere else in the morning. When asked about turning to family she spoke very disdainfully of them. I got a sense of rebellion rather than injury (emotional or otherwise). I’ve wondered, since then, if the homeless people I see on the streets here have also rejected the most natural support system available — family.
    Tori

  8. Carol, there is no doubt. I am a curious Monkey child, born on the cusp of Libra (chatty) and Virgo (introspective) … I have been told that my left-handed brain thinks as a “whole brainer” and I also used my Virgo shyness to push ahead in a career that was intended for extroverts.

    I don’t know how I would have come this far in life without a strong network of family and friends :) And I love daisies !!

  9. Laura Best says:

    Am I allowed to admit to both? I love the support of friends both online and real-life, but I’ve got to say I’ve been criticized for being too independent. I don’t do it on purpose. When something needs to be done I often don’t think of asking anyone for help. I blame it on being a middle child…lol

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