The Unexpected Seed

Last year our marigolds in the garden were not in full bloom until we were getting ready to close the garden up. It had already begun to rain heavily and the dead blooms were pretty soggy, but I decided to try to save some seed anyway.
I took the poor soggy things home and laid them on paper towels all over my kitchen counters letting the whole blooms dry out a little before I even attempted to break out the seeds.
I was pretty doubtful of any decent results but I plugged on anyway. I am easily entertained.
Eventually I was able to break apart the once slimy dead heads, spread out the seeds even more (if there isn’t enough counter space left, I don’t have to cook, right?), dried them thoroughly, and stored them away in jars marked “WET MG GARDEN MARIGOLDS” so I wouldn’t be too disappointed when I planted them and they didn’t grow. If they did grow, there would be more than enough seeds for everybody’s garden. Saving seeds saves a lot of money, only one deadhead off a marigold will give you more seed than one whole store bought seed packet. Another advantage for saving seed, especially vegetables, is you can save from your best plants that you know will grow in your particular micro-climate and soil.
Anyway, I digress. This year I started the seeds inside un der lights and up they grew. ALL of them. 100% germination! Every single seed I planted. Amazing and worth the effort.
When the seedlings were about 1 1/2″ tall I had a visitor. She was so excited about seeing seedlings in late winter growing in the house simply, no fancy greenhouse setup, just a shelf, a reading lamp, and questionable seeds. She was like the proverbial child in the candy store.
After hanging out with mostly people who do start from scratch gardening, I had forgotten that not everyone does. I was surprised and happy to show her all the seeds I had going at the time and answer a few questions. She was fascinated with the concept of raising celery from the end of the stalk you would normally throw away. I had just read about that concept (see posting on this page about this subject), and had two ends in a bowl of water just growing new leaves.
Fast forward to last weekend. This woman returns and literally runs up the stairs saying – I have to see the babies! How big are they now? She had never before watched a seed grow and she is 61 years old. She has a beautiful yard full of wonderful flowers and a deck covered with pots and baskets of flowers but had always bought them as plants (a very expensive endeavor indeed). She said she remembered her mother and her “little lady friends” saving and exchanging seeds and thinking that was “silly, old lady stuff, trying to be so frugal” and didn’t understand why they just didn’t go to the store and buy them.
After she saw the starts growing in my living room she ran home, poked around for tables, and lights, and pots she could use, set up her spare bedroom for growing and planted her own starts. She says, “I call them my little babies, and I check on them sometimes 2 or 3 times a day, and talk to them, and I put the end of my celery stalk in a bowl of water like you did, and it’s growing, it’s really growing! When should I put it in the dirt?”
I so needed this experience. It re-inspires me for another season.
A few marigold seeds planted in this garden that we weren’t sure would grow, yielded more seeds we weren’t sure would grow, bear an unexpected seeds of inspiration, growth, and love of gardening.
This to me is what croning is all about. You may or may not ever see if you have made a difference in this world, but know that if you are pursuing your joy know that you spread that joy and someone will receive it as well. It will spread out into the universe.

Paraphrased from “How We Choose to Be Happy”

Their 9 step plan shortened into my 9 Daily Intentions:

I intend to be Happy
I take charge of my Life
I will choose what will make me the happiest in line with my goals
I insist on doing what brings joy in my life
I will make problems into opportunities
I will be open, flexible, take risks, try something new
I will appreciate “this” moment, and make ordinary extraordinary
I will give with no expectations
I will live by my personal beliefs, not conform to someone else’s plan

Some More Thoughts

It’s a new world out there. As I enter into the unknown, I intend it to be another incredible journey. I am in search of role models and lifestyles that inspire me to create these crone-ing years into something wonderful.
There doesn’t seem to be a map, but there are signs along the way. I just must pay more attention to them. I’ve always known I need to follow my gut feelings and now it is even more important.
I think this whole ageing thing is headed toward much more spiritual work. My spirit, not the church’s, not society’s, not any other person’s, but my personal soul, my fire, and joy.
Coming of crone-ing age is freedom to explore, appreciate, enjoy, and power to release the clutter of worry and expectation.
Can I intend to be happy everyday and make it so?
Can I choose what will make me the happiest and follow through with those choices everyday?
Can I insist on what brings joy and do it everyday?
Can I really live by my own personal beliefs without being swayed into what someone else thinks I should be doing?
I am not saying do whatever bizarre thing I can think of, but following my inner needs and beliefs instead of trying to please the world (or save it) at the expense of my own priorities.
Being raised to be a “good girl” in my day meant always trying to please everybody else. It meant feeling guilty if you even thought of yourself at all. That was considered selfish and for a “good girl” being selfish would absolutely ruin your life and doom you to hell.
Now, after nurturing family and friends for years, I realize it is time to nurture myself in the same loving manner. No one else can do the inner soul work for me, it is my responsibility to make sure I take care of myself.
It is time to fan those soul embers back into roaring flames; kindle the passion in new directions, get that light bright enough to be seen for many miles.
I want to shine in a way that gives me the warm fuzzy feeling all day long, all year long, all life long.

My first step in this direction – When asked if I thought we should go find somewhere to eat, I said, “Yes, and I would like Chinese!”. In the years B.C. (Before Crone-ing), I would have said, “I don’t know, what do you want to do? What do you think? I don’t care.”

In an interview Jean Shinoda Bolen talks about why the image of the crone is important for older women. –

In an interview Jean Shinoda Bolen talks about why the image of the crone is important for older women. –

via In an interview Jean Shinoda Bolen talks about why the image of the crone is important for older women. –


Yesterday I was reading about happiness, and one of the subjects was truthfulness.  It brought up an important point that I had not really deeply thought about.  I consider myself a pretty truthful person but I also try not to hurt too many feelings either.   I had never thought about the fact that when you say you don’t care about something  and you really do, you are being untruthful not only to the person you are saying it to,  but you are being untruthful to yourself.  And that does not lead to happiness.

For example, your friend asks, where do you want to go to eat?  You answer, I don’t care.  If you truly have no preference at that time, great.  If  in the back of your mind you are thinking, I really want to try out that Mexican place, or I hate that joint, but you keep all these thoughts to  yourself you are actually being untruthful, to your friend and yourself.

Why does this matter and how can it change your happiness level?  Because what makes you happy should be part of your everyday agenda, and what doesn’t make you happy should be left out if at all possible.  If you mentioned the Mexican place, and your friend agreed, you could have had a memorable experience, lived in the moment, and soaked up the rays of a good time.  If you didn’t mention that you did not like a certain place and your friend picked it, going there will probably make you miserable, whiny, and depressed. ( You could still turn this situation around by ignoring the part you didn’t like, and finding a way to turn your attitude into gratitude by just being with your friend but it would be easier and more fun somewhere else).


This sounds like a petty thing to worry about, but it is the beginning of being honest with yourself.  It is an easy way to practice truthfulness with yourself and your feelings; something most women have neglected for many years.  Nurturing children and husbands and elderly parents, we tend to forget about ourselves and what makes us happy.  And if we do do something true to ourselves, we feel guilty of being selfish.

Try following through with what you really think, not what you think others want you to think, and see how it feels.  It is very scary at first.  Try it once a day, it gets easier.  It can even make you smile.  For a woman who has been catering to everyone else it is quite an accomplishment.  The more you practice being truthful to yourself and following what brings joy to your life, the more content, loving, peaceful you become.