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Grow what’s been planted

You can’t turn down something that hasn’t been offered.

That’s my Dad’s advice, offered over and over again through my post-college years of job searching. He’s encouraged me to apply for the job that doesn’t make any sense, and go the direction that others would fear, or would simply be too lazy to choose. His relentless message: don’t give up on yourself before you’ve even started. I have repeated it to friends countless times.

Dad grew up on a farm in upstate New York, and he and his siblings put a premium on connecting with the earth, even as they scattered around the East Coast and the world. He tried to pass that love of the connection between what grows from the earth and what goes on the plate to me, and it took awhile for me to really get it. I understood the concept, but preferred to honor that connection by buying more vegetables and fruit at the farmer’s market than I could possibly eat. Grow it myself? Not likely.

Dad and I have never had a shortage of things to say to each other, but now that I’ve begun gardening, it’s added to the conversation. I fill him in on the latest news, often before it hits the blog, and he tells me when he’s planted his squash and tomatoes and how his seedlings are doing.

And so, in honor of Dad, I’d like to add a corollary to Pete Gratto’s job-searching advice: You can’t grow something that hasn’t been planted.

I dedicate my garden adventures to you, Dad. Happy Father’s Day.

6 Comments on “Grow what’s been planted”

  1. #1 Mom
    on Jun 18th, 2006 at 4:24 pm

    This certainly has been a (good) crying Father’s Day. Your message about Dad was lovely! I, too, have benefitted multiple times from the same sage advise. Wish you were here with us, though it’s better that you continue to tend your garden in your limited “free” time! Love, Mom

  2. #2 Pete Gratto
    on Jun 18th, 2006 at 5:02 pm

    I am pleased to offer sage advice to all gardners, and often throw in some parsley, rosemary and thyme, if there is time.

  3. #3 jewel
    on Jun 18th, 2006 at 9:26 pm

    This is a really great post with a great metaphor. How lucky your dad must feel!

  4. #4 inadvertentgardener
    on Jun 20th, 2006 at 8:46 am

    Thanks, Jewel — glad you enjoyed the post.

    And Dad, I do believe that might be your first ever blog comment! Hope you and Mom are having a great time at the beach.

    Genie

  5. #5 The Inadvertent Gardener
    on Sep 9th, 2006 at 7:31 am

    [...] On Saturday, my Dad finished making a batch of waffles and sat down long enough to eat them before he started preparing lunch. Now, there was a fair bit of talking that went along with that eating of the waffles, but still, there wasn’t much of a break from one meal to the next, when all was said and done. [...]

  6. #6 Life Lessons - Live (Blog) - Personal Development for Smart People Forums
    on Nov 11th, 2006 at 4:27 pm

    [...] Best advice my Dad’s ever given me… I pass out this advice to everyone, and try to live by it, as well. It comes via my Dad, who’s very wise! You can’t turn down what hasn’t been offered. I use that advice as motivation to go after things without cutting myself off because of doubt or fear. It’s always been helpful. Enjoy the workshop, everyone! [...]

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