What time are you on?

Time is something that many of don’t give a second thought. Being born into a post-industrial society, we are bombarded with phrases like, “time is money” or "the time is now". We may feel stressed about not having enough time. Or stressed that time has gone by too quickly. Some even say that all we have is time. 

In our modern society, we use industrial time or clock time which is measured using exact seconds, minutes, and hours. Industrial time creates the illusion of certainty. At this time, "x, y, and z" happen. While that maybe true, it isn't always the case. Don’t get me wrong, industrial time is useful, especially when it comes to things like appointments, meeting times and class schedules. However, in some situations it can also create unwanted and undesired stress.

I was recently introduced to the concept of “horticultural time”. Attempting to live a mindful life in a post-industrial society, this concept spoke to me. Horticultural time is measured more slowly and is based in harmony with biology and natural life cycles. Think of the four seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter. Or cycles of life: birth, childhood, adulthood, senior, death. 

Horticultural time is based on conditions not measured by any specific standards. Take for example gardening. You would plant a seed, tend to it, and with the right conditions, your plant will grow. To plant a seed and expect it to bloom by a certain date would be absurd.

Reflecting as mother and a birth professional, I often see how our concept of time stands in our own way. For example due dates. Due dates are not "bad" and can definitely be useful. However, I observe with some new moms it can creates anticipation and unnecessary stress. Often, I remind them that their due date is an estimate and normal labor can happen any where from 37 weeks to 42 weeks. 

While pregnancy isn’t exactly the same as growing a plant, babies do come on their own time clock. They don’t care about holidays, important games or meetings. In a normal, low risk pregnancy, babies are born when they are ready.

Whatever your seeds may be - babies, projects, plants. Give your seeds the right conditions to thrive. Enjoy each phase with love and curiosity.