On one of my regular walking paths, the grassy boulevard has been replaced by planted prairie. I am all for these prairie restoration efforts. I know that prairie patches will do more than simply make for a more interesting walk for me—they bring in pollinators and critters, filter water and prevent erosion etc. Prairie places will do things I don’t even know about or understand. All good.
But the in progress phase is less than perfectly lovely.….
I swear, I’m pulling “plants” (I’m avoiding the more pejorative term) that look just like those out of my garden.
I love the sign: Prairie In Progress. It reminds me of what writers sometimes call the book they’re currently working on: Work In Progress (WIP). My current WIP looks a lot like this PIP right now. Hard to imagine it’s going to turn into something beautiful and important. Right now it feels like it’s filled with weeds. It’s uneven and bumpy. There are bare spots and rocky places. Candy wrappers and cigarette butts litter the edges in places.
But it’s in progress. It will fill in. Scrappy looking places will bloom some day. I’ll clean up the litter, even out the bumps, and replant as needed. I will water it and shine some love on it. It will be tended as it finds its way, becoming what it’s meant to be. I have to believe this, or I can’t work on it.
I’m grateful for this Prairie Project near my house. When I walk by it I remind myself: It’s not always beautiful in the beginning. It takes a little faith to let it grow and a little imagination to see the spots in which things begin to look more hopeful. It always, in fact, takes longer than you think it will (or should.)
So be it. Most everything and everyone is a Work In Progress. I’m grateful for this live and growing reminder twenty minutes from my house.