I’ve been spending some time this past week out in the garden. I just love it there and I’m grateful to have the time to learn some new cultivation skills. The garden does more than just teach me how to develop a green thumb however, it reminds me how it is often the simplest gestures that produce the most magnificent results. Aside from the thinking time that the garden provides me, it’s also a metaphor to highlight how positive input can lead to positive outcomes. The simplest gesture, like regular watering or turning the compost can lead to some very rewarding moments – when a flower blooms or herbs are picked to be used in the evening meal.
I’ve been reminded of this when cultivating connections with people this week also. Often it’s the simplest gestures that provide the strongest connections. Our youngest had a new school friend over on Sunday, and I spent my morning fussing about the house because I wanted to create a good impression for the new mum I would be meeting when she dropped her boy off at our place for the day. I was raised on the idea that you “never get a second chance to make a first impression” and I had caught myself tidying things to the extreme and thinking that this was my opportunity to impress. In reality, all I needed to create was an environment that reassured the mum that her child was in safe hands for the day. The rest of the fussing was pure ego, and unnecessary.
Just like the chiilies budding on the bush, a simple act of kindness was all that was needed. There was no need to over-think it, or second guess what she may be thinking. All I needed to do was put the kettle on, engage in conversation and be present. Simple, honest, and positive. This was far more positive than the way the cushions were arranged on the couch or the display of clean bench tops in the kitchen. Perhaps the messiest, untidy, seemingly disorganised people are, in fact, the most authentic! When did relationships (or interactions) become so complex? The garden has reminded me that simple is often best, and sometimes in my hectic life I forget that. After all, we all respond to positive gestures.
I believe that every single person enters my life at the exact right time, and to provide me with an intended life experience, both good and bad. This includes the person who collects my money as I exit the carpark; the postman who waves as he disappears on his motorbike; or a family member who returns home after a day away. I have an opportunity to strengthen the connection I inevitably (and inescapably) have with every single person by providing them with one simple, honest positive gesture. This is especially critical for the people I may not necessarily like because I can see from my garden that one positive step can produce results that I truly appreciate, so I may as well “water” my connections. Do you agree?