The Secret to Why Survival Gardeners Live Longer

            “Sam,” I said, “I thought of a follow up to our discussion about the necessity of hope for survival.  It came to me the other day as I passed by our poor little lilac bush.  I’m not sure how well it will do this year.”


            Just then there was annoying static on the phone line as Sam replied.  “Tell me about it,” he said.


            “It’s anticipation.  My wife and I hope for sweet smelling lilacs from our lilac bush, and we anticipate we’ll have some, in spite of how brown things look in our yard at the moment.”


            “So,” Sam said.  You’re tying hope and anticipation together, right?”


            “Right,” I said.  “I suppose the two are pretty closely related.  If you’re hoping for something, you’re looking forward to it with anticipation.  I think it’s the secret to why gardeners live longer.”


            “Good point,” Sam said.  “Every gardener can’t wait to get those colorful seed catalogs in the winter in anticipation of planting for spring.  I know I always buy many more seeds than I can use for the season.  But when I plant those seeds and see the green sprigs coming up, I have both hope and anticipation of the harvest.  It’s a universal thing with gardeners everywhere.”


            “Yeah,” I said, “ and I can think of a classic example.  I correspond with a friend in England who’s well into his 80’s and in poor health.  I wouldn’t be surprised to hear any time now from his wife, saying he’s passed away.  He’s an optimistic guy though.  Even though he can’t get outdoors and tend to his flower garden like he used to, he’s got plans to grow some flowers indoors and even some cherry tomatoes this summer just outside the house.  I think it’s what keeps him going.”


            “Anticipation is a powerful thing when it comes to survival,” Sam said.  “One of my elderly relatives lived to see a big family reunion, and then she died shortly afterward.  Several of us surmised she anticipated that particular gathering.  She hadn’t been in good health at all beforehand, and we weren’t sure she’d make it to the reunion.”


            “I’ve heard other stories like that,” I said.


            “Your observation that anticipation is important for survival is a good one,” Sam said.  “As you may know, it applies to many areas of life.  Looking forward to graduation from high school or college.  Anticipating a wedding.  Expecting to outlive the present regime in government.  And, as you say, anticipating the fruits of our gardening labors.  While survival means outliving others, living for something is a key ingredient.  Combined with hope, it’s a force to be reckoned with.”


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.