Learning the language of nature takes time
Everything has a story, and nature teaches me just so much. Take skin for example. You can't tell a book by its cover. Well as it happens, you can't tell a watermelon by it's skin either.
Curious to know when this watermelon would be ripe to pick, I dug deep into my memory to remember what my father taught me, then after a bit of googling was able to piece the evidence together.
One of the key features is that the skin changes colour. The white stripes become creamy yellow, but that's not the only sign. Pick it too soon and it won't be fully ripe, pick it too late and it will be mushy inside.
There's other signs. Like the little tendril had turned brown, and the spoon leaf also. Check ✔️
The white of the skin had turned a creamy colour. Check ✔️
A white patch that the watermelon was resting on had also turned creamy. Check ✔️
I performed the knock, knock, are you hollow test, tapping on the skin. Check ✔️
Pretty darn confident with myself I picked this beauty, my very first, only to discover that it wasn't in fact, ripe.
Well the truth is I shouldn't be so hard on myself. It was perfectly edible, just not perfectly ripe.
My father is 93 years old. He's forgetful so I wasn't confident he could help.
Oh he says, you picked it too soon! He went through all the tells with me, Check ✔️, then he says, but there's other signs. "You just plant the same watermelon next year and see what it does, and the year after that. Eventually you will get to know your watermelon."
So next year it is.
This is what I love about nature. Learning nature is a slow process. There's only so much that google can tell you. So much that others can impart. What they can't tell you is their 6th sense for their produce. My Dad's a farmer. He's been planting and growing food all his life. His wisdom is immense.
We need to be patient to learn the language of nature. The natural processes are tried and true and there for us to learn. We have to look carefully, pay attention, learn the lessons, watch for changes, signs, more tells, hidden secrets.
It's a beautiful, unfolding dance that I am learning with and from each and every plant in my garden. Kind of like what its like getting to know someone, a friend, a partner. It's a slow dance.
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