the lesson of the parsley

Sometimes I feel like I have an unending list of things I need to do immediately – or at least really soon. I feel like I’m rushing around at full speed and never accomplishing anything. Other times, it seems time stretches out ahead of me with nothing to do. Neither is really true. In some ways, it’s that whole “living in the now” thing again. I’m worrying about things I need to do, some of which I’m putting off until after the holidays. It’s just that some of these things – like getting the power of attorney thing done for dad – feel so huge and overwhelming. Looming. Yes, that’s it. Loooooooooming. Is it that the things are really that big or is it just me worrying and stressing?

I feel responsible for everything. It’s not entirely untrue. Around here, if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. I’ve learned to pick my battles. Some things matter more than others. Doing the power of attorney thing – important. Getting his eyes checked – probably a little less important. Getting him to the urologist for his 6 month appointment – important. Bath aide – not immediately important. Surviving Christmas (aka keeping it simple) – really important in the short run.

I saw the shrink Friday. It’s been hard to find time to get to see him and I seem to be managing an appointment about every three months. Maybe that’s all I need – still the shrink is sometimes the only adult conversation I have for weeks at a time. I like going. It’s good to be able to talk about everything going on even if there are no obvious solutions.

This time, he tells me not to worry so much. That all those things I am stressing about will get done when they get done. Let it go. Relax. Things will happen when they happen.

That is so not me. I’m much better at worrying, stressing about the future. Overwhelming myself. Let it go? Relax? It sounds so tempting yet so irresponsible. Isn’t someone supposed to be responsible? Won’t the world fall apart if I don’t stay on top of everything? I’ve paid a couple of bills slightly late because I’ve not had the energy, because I’ve let things go. Isn’t the whole universe going to collapse?

In an odd way, my little garden is reminding me of the truth that I have no control.

It’s been cold, well below freezing at night yet the herbs are still green. They’re being unexpected. They are paying no attention to the rules. They don’t look great but the parsley is still green and fresh. The neighbor’s cats are still getting handfuls of fresh catnip when they visit. Hell, the sage and oregano and thyme are all still good. Wasn’t I supposed to cut things back? Prepare the garden for winter? Wasn’t it all supposed to die when it froze?

herbal remnants

Nature does what it does. The herbs are still green and usable even though I have not done the things I thought I should do. Worrying about it would not have made a bit of difference. The plants will die. Most of them will come up again in the spring. All of it without my direct intervention.

Some of the things I need to do are important. They will get done. Others, I need to let go. Worrying about them is not going to help.

And that is the lesson of the parsley.

italian flat leaf parsley


5 thoughts on “the lesson of the parsley”

  1. I like this. Your thoughts are good and parsley certainly is the perfect embodiment of what you’ve come to accept. Working in the garden always brings with it such unexpected clarity.

    [Our parsley is gone but our mint and rosemary are hanging in there. They both look ratty, but smell nice.]


  2. I’m feeling a bit stupid about it but this made me cry! I’m a terrible gardener but feel like I can count on my herbs to take care of themselves and remind me that, indeed, I don’t need to know everything or do everything … the world really can take care of itself. Sometimes. For a little bit. “The lesson of the parsley” — love. ❤


  3. I absolutely LOVE your lesson and need to heed it in my life also. As you probably already know, I’m a worrywart with many things to worry about–that I can’t change anyway by making myself miserable.


    1. Zazzy,I like your parsley lesson !

      Now I have to figure out what lessons I have to learn from my yellow primula.I bought it last spring and kept it on the porch table.It bloomed all year and it’s still blooming ! I can’t believe it.Usually primulas wilt as soon as the weather gets hot.Yesterday I brought it into the kitchen because water in the ceramic container was frozen,including some roots that were sticking out of pot hole.I think it may wilt on my kitchen table.One of these days,weeks or months I will reinstall my camera again so I can take pictures of the beautiful things around me.I never seem to get the things I plan to do for myself done either.Others always seem to need my attention more than myself,I guess.


  4. I really try to not worry about the things over which I have no control. It seems, however, that I think I have far more control than I really have! As Margaret said, I can’t change these things and there’s no use making myself miserable about them

    I don’t think that’s stupid at all Monique. I guess I, too, really need the reminder that I don’t need to know or do everything.

    Ally, I tend to get the “unexpected clarity” that gardening is much more work than I think it’s going to be. Still, there are moments where good lessons shine through.

    I don’t know Schnucki. Perhaps your lesson has to do with being stronger than you think? Be interested to hear what you decide as you think about it.


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