Rules Schmoolz

By: Julie Jordan Scott

A man, dressed in full Japanese garb from the 19th Century
(with a bit of an unusual twist) slowly walks to center
stage. "Welcome to the Melodrama Musical Theatre!
Ready to hear our rules?"

A collective groan fills the North Bakersfield Theatre
as the audience plays along with a cast member from
"The Mikado."

He responds emphatically, saying, "Rules, Schmoolz!"

People complain about following rules.

As a second grade teacher, I instead of rules I used
a list of simple guidelines. We reviewed these guidelines
daily in the beginning of the year. If infractions were
made, we simply pointed to the guidelines. The kids knew
what was expected (instead of focusing on what NOT to do).

There were only 7 guidelines which were as diverse as
"We keep our hands and feet to ourselves" all the way to
"We respect, honor and love one another."

In my garden, I learn even more about the fuzziness of rules.

My front yard houses a flower garden. My backyard plays host
to a wide array of vegetables in my mini-farm, vegetable garden.
And never, never the twain shall meet. Veggies, back, with
other veggies. Flowers in front with only other flowers.

Until Emma and Shauna, that is.

One of my Coaches used to say, "You can't grow zucchini
if you plant tomatoes!"

That may be true in some yards.

It is not true in mine!

Emma and her friend spread some seeds they discovered without
my knowledge.

I kept wondering what those things were growing among the
roses. They did not look like any weed I had ever seen.
And in fact, they were beginning to bear a striking
resemblance to the zucchini and cucumber which were,
naturally, growing beautifully in my back yard.

Like a lightbulb turning on, I realized what had happened.

I had used the front porch as my plant nursery, and Emma
and Shauna had found some seeds I had not planted in one of
the rows of tiny pots. Now the fruit of their play was
showing up exactly where it was not suppposed to be!

The rules say loud and clear, no veggies in with the flowers!

So I replanted some of the plants, moving them to their
proper spaces in the backyard. I found that they lost
a bit of oooomph in the process, though with love they
recovered.

I wondered, looking at them, if they would ever completely
catch up.

What would have happened if I decided that rules were
contrary and of my own creation and YES! I could have
allowed them to finish the season among the flowers?

I pondered this before I replanted any more veggies.
I left a number of zucchini and cucumber to continue
growing amidst the roses, pansies, daisies and ever
growing sunflowers.

Yesterday I was preparing to water and I saw
something amazing.

There, on one of the zucchini plants was a huge
yellow flower. It was the size of the flowers you
see Hawaiian dancers wearing in their hair.

Flowers. In the vegetable garden. Vegetables.
In the flower garden.

I smiled. What a lesson.

I held tight to the guideline of honor, respect
and loving my plants. I added some flowers to
my vegetable garden and let the vegetables in
the front garden simply be. I so enjoy being
with the vast array and abundance of plant life
that surrounds me in both my front and back yards.

RulesFree Web Content, schmoolz.

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