Go With the Flow?


…A hundred thousand lost coins.
Climb up the nine hills, don’t give chase.
(Hexagram 51)

One of the aspects of being older — for me — is understanding how few things I control and how little I know. This morning’s prompt, “flow,” made me think of a saying from back in the day, “Go with the flow.” Any 18 year old is going to — paradoxically — turn their will toward going with the flow, sometimes even with the idea that “going with the flow” is going to make things turn out the way they want them to. I think of that sometimes and wonder how I could have believed I KNEW how things should turn out or should be or even WERE (are?). At some point I realized that going with the flow was not an act of will, but an act of surrender.

Sometime last week I decided I’d better grow some tomatoes and basil because, you know, caprese. I got out the seeds — tomatoes saved from tomatoes I grew last summer and Genovese basil seeds I got from somewhere (??) and put them in some seed-starting dirt. I didn’t want to drag out the large and fancy seed starting trays. I didn’t want to get that involved. I put them in the kitchen windows and gave them sandwich bag hats to wear until they sprouted — which happened yesterday. This morning when I got up and saw one of the tiny tomatoes reaching for the sun with all its little heart and tiny new leaves, I thought, “Oh damn, I love you guys after all.” Yep.

Seeing them optimistically reaching for sunlight, yesterday I put my back into cleaning out the tomato garden which is in the VERY back yard (dog’s yard) where there is more sun, and heat reflects off the south-facing garage wall. I built the little tomato garden last year and fenced the dogs out. So… Maybe in September I’ll have caprese 2/3 of which I grew myself. The store has OK tomatoes but basil? No… Sooner would be better but that’s not up to me. 🙂

Getting them started in fresh mozzarella containers, you know, channeling their inner caprese

30 thoughts on “Go With the Flow?

  1. I believe spring sproutings do so much to lift the spirits! I’ve started cleaning out the leaves that I cover my beds in from the winter cold and I’m always delighted when I see the new beginnings.

  2. Jim Hightower and Susan DeMarco took a contrarian view in their book “Swim Against the Current: Even a Dead Fish Can Go With the Flow.” You mean you’re not going to make your own mozzarella? 😉

    • If I only had a nice water buffalo I might, but, alas, no room. That’s a hilarious title and true. I looked at a synopsis of the book and it made me think of a book I judged for the contest which was “Finding Happiness through Negative Thinking” which, though a very funny book, even contradicted itself in the title. :p Swimming against the current? You’re still controlled by the current. It’s one of those Mexican finger traps.

  3. Oh Martha! You and I must be in the same frame of mind or something! Last Thursday I wrote a post that will go live on Monday about going with the flow!! You said it much more succinctly than I did… And you are so right – going with the flow IS surrendering your autonomy!

    • Surrendering your will, but I don’t think you surrender your autonomy as it is YOU (me) after all who is going with the flow. We are each part of the flow, but I don’t think until we surrender we know what our part is. I look forward to reading your post!! ❤

  4. When I first saw your photos, I thought of your beans. But tomatoes…yum! So exciting to see those sprouts. Flow. Going with the flow (over the years) often felt like compromising instead of hauling myself out of the flow (and up the riverside or some such thing) to do “my own thing” – which didn’t always work out. But left me feeling like I had some control. But we really don’t and realizing that takes a load off. Flowing mindfully now perhaps? 🙂

    • Ah beans… I put five in peat pots today. Now I just have to name them. The ones I planted outside should have been up by now and I began to think, “Maybe it’s you, Martha. Maybe they need all that love and personification. After all, you gave it to their parents.”

      I’m not sure about this flow thing, actually. I think it might boil down to the Serenity Prayer. When I was young, I wasn’t able to distinguish between things I could change and things I couldn’t. Like COVID. OK, I don’t want to get sick. That stuff was clear, but so much isn’t. ❤

  5. It must be so satisfying when something you’ve planted and cared for actually starts to grow. Well done on your little green shoots, Martha, and may they thrive and reward you with plentiful produce! When we move, we’re hoping to grow some of our own veg and be more self-sufficient. We did try to grow a little in our current house, but the soil is like fired clay in the summer and nothing took, except a line of pumpkins, which the squirrels all ate before they really got going. Better luck next time then… 🙂

    • Thank you, Alli! I was surprisingly happy to see their little green selves. Raised beds are the answer to bad soil, I’ve learned here. The soil in the San Luis Valley is awesome for some things and not others but I think that’s true everywhere.

      • Ah yes, raised beds! We should have tried that here, but it’s an idea to take with us to Wales, so thanks for that, Martha. I have to admit I know next to nothing about soil, so I guess we’re in for a steep learning curve! I hope your little green shoots continue on their path to success and bounty. 🙂

  6. It is heart warming to watch new leaves. I think sometimes we have to go with the flow, when we cannot change what comes our way. Thank you for sharing.

  7. I container garden. I have never had luck with tomatoes, but I keep trying. I do grow a couple kinds on basil and mint for smoothies and salads.

    • I grow tomatoes in large grow bags. I can change the soil every year and I think that helps. I think I’ll grow some mint then I can make tabouli… Thanks for mentioning it.

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