Report From PIA – January 11
There is a t-shirt (or is it a bumper sticker?) that says, “Life is not a dress rehearsal”, and to this I say Amen! We have just one “wild and precious life”, as I quoted Mary Oliver’s poem in yesterday’s post, so we’d better give it our all the first time around.
But rehearsal is on my mind because I’m preparing for a new talk I’m giving at a gardening conference on Wednesday. This presentation is called “Being a More Successful Gardener,” and I know from past experience that the only way to deliver a killer talk the first time around is to practice. I’m rehearsing my tuchus off, out loud, thank you very much, because that is the best way to have it down when I walk on that stage and face 100- plus people.
What does the wisdom of a speaker’s rehearsal have to tell us about gardening, or life? In part, it speaks to the process we go though when learning something new. My first vegetable gardens in 1972 might be seen as rehearsals for the way we now grow much of our food. The first perennial garden I planted in Spencertown, New York, allowed me to prepare for better flowerbeds that I grow today.
As someone who was very shy as a child and still feels shy as an adult, I know that when I pretended to be outgoing, when I practiced being gregarious, I became better at sociability. And even this January, as I get back to the gym and begin working out regularly, I improve my coordination and overall fitness. Rehearsal helps, no doubt about it.
Life is not a dress rehearsal, but as we live our one, wild precious life, while planting in the present moment, practice does make perfect.