“Following the unfolding instead of micromanaging and trying to control, is key to allowing synchronicity and right timing.” —Lena Stevens
Every day I pass through my small walled garden on the way to my studio. Over the years I’ve made a practice of taking notice of what is unfolding, of being aware that the lavender plants need pruning, the hens-and-chicks have multiplied and now need replanting, or the leaf-eating ants have suddenly appeared overnight and are just beginning to devour the jasmine vine.
The plant that speaks to me most is the philodendron in the shady corner. Rooted deep into the soil with its aerial roots snaking along the wall, it has grown into a magnificent plant over the last five years.
It has done this by slowly and steadily unfolding one leaf at a time. Today I noticed a new leaf in its initial unfurling. Over the next week it will unfold until it reaches two feet in length and almost the same dimension in width. This new leaf will join the others and make an even dozen. Leaves have been judiciously pruned over the years, and always the plant flourishes.
Each day as I walk past it, the philodendron reminds me to follow its rhythm—to steadily, slowly unfold in my own glorious way, continually growing into and adapting to my own corner in the garden.
And yes, sometimes life calls for a fast paced, miraculously efficient blur of activity, jolting me out of this tried and true rhythm. That’s why it’s a practice, why I keep returning to the garden.