One day, a young man went to a wise elder and told him that he despaired of ever becoming a success. The old man nodded sympathetically and handed him some bamboo seeds. He told the young man to plat them and tend them carefully. He did, watering them faithfully month after month. But nothing happened. One year passed , then three, then five. Finally, after five years, the seeds began to sprout. In six weeks, the bamboo plants shot up 90 feet. Astounding!
When the old man asked the young fellow how long it took for the plants to grow, his answer was, “six weeks.” “No,” the wise man said. “It took five years and six weeks.”
Tending to our dreams takes time. But often, in this age of age of instant communication and quick fixes, we forget that. Like the young man, we need to plant seeds, then water and fertilize them every day, day after day. Each drop of water, each moment of care, each rush of attention, brings us closer to the dream we dream of. But there’s no way to speed up the process, to make the plants grow faster. Nourishing their roots takes time. It takes patience and persistence.
Right now, I’m working steadily to complete the revisions of my YA novel. It’s going more slowly than I hoped. Some days, like today, for example, I don’t make much progress and I feel frustrated and at odds with myself. But it’s important to me, so I’m marshalling every ounce of persistence I have to keep going.
Water and fertilize, Water and fertilize. Every day that I nourish my dream and tend it, even modestly, carries me closer to it. How about you? What dream are you nourishing? Are you tending it every day? Write on!