Hearing this variation on “Are we there yet?” from my internal gardener, I wake up each morning and wonder when the snow will be gone. It’s been melting nicely, assisted by a light rain a few nights ago. The garden plots will be moist and well-watered before I even get the rain barrels set up.
A few days ago I announced to the family that I was going to play in the dirt. They looked outside at the still snow-covered backyard and expressed their disbelief. I tricked them; I was going down the basement where I had seeds, a package of potting soil, and a variety of containers. Now I have tiny, and I do mean tiny, tomato and pepper plants doing their best to reach for the sky. If we have decent temperatures, I can start putting the seedlings out on the deck by day and bring them in every night.
It’s a simple pleasure, really, this watching the plants grow. Every spring brings with it the potential for growth, literal and figurative. I watch the seedlings get taller and stronger and eventually put forth fruit. I see my own growth in planning, planting, and following through with the long-term process of watering, weeding, and caring for the plots. The personal growth also comes from the act of slowing down. Teaching is a fast paced, high stress job, and I enjoy every minute of it. When a school break arrives, I take the time to slow down physically and mentally. During summer, the longest break of our agrarian school calendar, the garden reminds me that some things can’t be rushed. These biological processes will happen, and they will happen at their own rates.
Meanwhile, I’ll relax with my laptop and blog about it. Okay? Okay.