The air is warm enough to stand on my front porch comfortably in my shirt and pants without a sweater or coat. It’s warm, but not hot. The first day of spring was less than a week ago. A few weeks back on a warm late winter day with the promise of even warmer weather ahead I bought a starter tray, organic soil and best of all seeds! Lettuce, spinach, kale and a spring lettuce mix. I maybe could have started these seeds that week when I brought them home, but I wanted to be sure the weather would be warm enough for them to thrive on my front porch until it was time to get them in the ground.
There’s something wonderful about pulling open a bag of soil. Dirt, from which we all came, a bag of dirt is a bag of possibility. Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies it’s one of the few hobbies I have that I do entirely selfishly for me. Of course I derive joy from being able to share food that I’ve grown with my own two hands with neighbors and friends but gardening for the sake of being outside playing in the dirt watching things grow is the reason I do it. Being able to run outside for a short break at work (perks of working from home) and water my garden in the sunshine, seeing how my vegetable plants change from day to day as I tend them is one of the simplest pleasures of life and it fills me with pure joy. Coming inside perfumed by tomatoes vines or rosemary bushes will remind me the rest of the day of the complex simplicity of life.
Putting my hands in the organic starter soil to fill my tray I feel serenity wash over me. Dirt in it’s place has a calming affect on me. My now soiled hands reach for the seed packets. I open them with care knowing that there are more seeds than I will need to use this season and my mind wanders to wondering if there are file organizers for half used seed packets, I wish their were.
I remember being a young child in my grandparents green house with my grandmother, together we filled a large seed tray like the one I’m filling today. She had a wooden slab that had wooden pegs on one side, one peg for each seed hole. We placed the wooden slab over the tray and lightly pressed down to create a hole in the dirt for all of the seeds. This is one of my favorite childhood memories yet it was simple and mundane. My Grandmother teaching me something she had done thousands if not millions of times before and would do thousands of times again. Something I would only wish I could do over and over again. I even remember the smell and feel of the greenhouse warm and safe while standing on a stool beside my strong beautiful grandmother. We worked but to me it felt like play. I think about this memory as I make holes in the tray with my finger getting dirt under my nails wishing I had a need for the type of tool I was using with my grandmother, wishing I had a green house and more land to fill with vegetable plants.
Pausing from my memories I drop the seeds in two to a hole so that they have company and so if one doesn't make it the other will, and cover them back up with soil as I wonder about the possibilities these seeds will bring later. Maybe this is how we should plant dreams? Two at a time so that they can keep each other company and know that if one doesn't make it the other most likely will.
Planting is creating. Planting is love.