Surprise, you can turn your dreams into reality using mind and muscle

We shoveled dirt, lots of dirt, spreading it out in the flowerbed.  To call it a flowerbed seemed pretentious.  There were no flowers yet in fact there were no plants at all. But we had a vision of what was possible and we had the mind and muscle to draw on in our attempt to make the vision a reality.  The vision included a tame, civilized flower ed to the right of the front door.  I imagined a flowerbed that would welcome visitors with the beauty of shrubbery punctuated by splashes of colour.

I had been clinging to that vision for four years, and every year I would refine it a little bit more.  The first year it was simply a matter of realizing we needed to dress up the main entrance and make everything look finished.  The second and third years the vision became clearer.  I began to see the outlines of the future flowerbed.  We used stakes and rope to delineate the area.  We moved the stakes and rope.  We pulled everything out and used a garden hose to mark off the possible bed.  We had what seemed like endless discussions about how large that bed should be.  Through all that decision chaos, there were still a few primary things I knew for sure. We had to keep going, there would be decisions and surprises, and we had to keep the end in mind.

Never lose site of the dream

The end I had in mind was a flowerbed filled with plants of different heights, varying foliage, and staggered blooming times. From our starting point that end point seemed like a far off dream.  It was a dream that never wavered.  Even in the midst of all the uncertainty and the more granular decisions that needed to be made, I could see in my minds eye a finished bed complete with plants that would thrive in the partial shade.  It never occurred to me that the flowerbed might never happen. Although there were lots of obstacles in my way, I didn't give up.  And there were some big obstacles.  

Obstacles are just puzzles to solve

Every obstacle delayed the realization of the dream but there were none that were unsolvable.  We reached agreement on the size and shape of the bed late last year and we figured out how to edge it to contain the dirt. The bed was in place but the soil by the swake was so sandy that it wasn't going to sustain the plantings I had in mind.  That meant sourcing dirt and a method to bring home a lot of dirt. We borrowed a dump trailer and brought in a load of beautiful black dirt.  Greg maneuvered the dump trailer into the perfect position to avoid having to wheelbarrow the dirt by hand. We dumped a full load of dirt directly into the bed and then we began to shovel.  By the time we were done we had the makings of a flower bed by the front door.  It still needed to be smoothed out but there it was.  Finally after all the deliberations and machinations, there were only a couple of remaining puzzles between me and my vision of a flowerbed.

Keep working the dream until it becomes your reality

The last pieces of my flowerbed puzzle surprised me. Well all of them didn't surprise me, but one furry one did.  I was prepared for the next dilemma of selecting plants.  In fact I was relishing that puzzle because it would mean trips to the nurseries, researching which plants would thrive in the growing conditions, and drafting a plan of the bed plantings.  There would be the matter of deciding how to camouflage the exhaust vent that emerges from the house near the front door. There were a number of final puzzles that I was fully prepared for.   What I wasn't prepared for was Kanti's interest in using the newly filled flowerbed as a resting place. 

The thing about dreams is that they aren't stagnant.  We have to adjust and rejig our sails periodically to get to the end point.  Kanti's interest in the flowerbed is forcing me to rejig.  My plan is to plant lots of big things so close together that there isn't any room for that critter to plop down in the dirt.  My dream isn't quite a reality yet but we are getting close.  A dog isn't coming between me and my dream, no matter how cute and lovable she is.  I will keep working my dream into reality.  Once we get there, we'll share photos.  In the meantime, pick whatever life analogies are helpful from the flowerbed dream.  I'm reminding myself of a few - never lose site of the dream, view obstacles as puzzles to solve, and keep working your dreams because making them a reality takes mind and muscle.