Fallow is an old-fashioned sounding word meaning a period of time when a piece of land is left unplanted. This ‘Fallow’ period was often used by farmers to allow the nutrients and goodness of the soil to rebalance. A land in fallow was also a time of breaking cycles of disease or decay. As we slowly emerge from our lockdowns and COVID restrictions, I wonder about the term fallow, and how it relates to the period of time we are going through.
The pandemic for many has been like a fallow period. All the usual activities and events we took for granted, stopped. Suddenly our priorities changed, our focus shifted to other things and projects we had been working on in 2019 were set aside. In traditional times, a period of fallow was normal for farmers. There was nothing wrong with leaving a field empty and unplowed for a year or more. The land would be taken over by weeds and wildlife. This taking over by nature was part of the cycle of the farm, as it allowed the soil to rest, and be replenished. We are not so familiar with this process anymore. And empty fields covered in weeds look out of place. Likewise, we are not used to a period of time when we set aside projects, plans and let them gather dust, grow over with weeds or fade into the background. But, sometimes this is a part of the cycle of things. A fallow period can be a time of rebalancing, re-establishing priorities and breaking cycles.
Looking back over the past year and a bit, what have you let fallow? What projects and plans were set aside when the world turned upside down?
Perhaps now is a time to start looking back at those projects, plans and ideas. Clear away the weeds, dig down into the soil of your ideas. I think you might be pleasantly surprised at what you find. This time of fallow may have surprisingly reestablished balances, broken cycles and introduced some new wild ideas to your projects and plans.
As we slowly reemerge and life starts to get back to some kind of normal pre-covid rhythms, I expect there will be a lot of fantastic new ideas, projects and plans that start to fall into place. This period of fallow, any period of fallow, can be an important time of growth and replenishing for these ideas. A year of not touching a project is not always a bad thing. Letting something fallow, and rebalance can in fact set the stage for increased growth and yield over the coming years. I believe we are heading into a period of increased growth when new ideas will bloom all over the world. I am excited by what comes next, and I hope you are too.
What ideas have you left to fallow?
Are you ready to take a look at those plans and projects again?