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We're not unlike the veggies in the garden

It’s summer gardening season, a time when I’m reminded how much we have in common with the produce we farm in backyard gardens and large tilled plots.

Like the fruits and veggies on the vines, we need a delicate balance of sunlight, water and care to emerge as our best selves.

Given the right combination of nutrients, light and hydration, tomatoes will mature on the vine, growing round and green. But at any point in the process, they can stall. They often suffer arrested development when the sun warms the air too hot too quickly. Or they’re given too much water and their leaves curl. They can even be picked too soon and find themselves unable to ripen off the vine. 

Peppers will grow gorgeous flowers and then, not given the right recipe of care and keeping, drop their blossoms right into the soil with no fruit produced. 

Lettuce can’t take the heat.

Melons can’t take the cold.

Pole beans must be tied to something they can climb.

Gardening seems like a simple hobby, but every year green thumbed individuals suffer disappointments large and small at the hands of their own minor missteps.

We’re not unlike the fruits and vegetables in the garden. In order to grow, we need the perfect combination of care and keeping. In order to mature, we need the support of loved ones. In order to produce, whatever that may look like in adulthood, we need the follow-through of a community that cares enough to see us succeed.

None of us is in this on our own.

“No man is an island” said poet John Donne.

This summer, we challenge you to sit down and write out your care plan. Make lists of who contributed when you were young and how. Name your community, the one that continues to invest in your growth and maturity, no matter your age. Jot down goals for the future and take care to note the support you will need to reach them.

This kind of reflection lends itself not only to hope for the future, but gratitude for the past. Give it a try and see what you learn about yourself in the process. If you’d like to share your findings, email

At Memories In Writing, we believe everyone has an important story to share. We'd love to help connect you or a loved one with resources to begin recording your personal story. Learn more on our homepage.

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