Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sprouting Seeds, Dreaming Dreams

At home last night I could not bring myself to look through the seed catalogues. I am not ready for the decadent laziness of winter to come to an end. Don't get me wrong, I would love to run outside without 7 layers on as much as the next person, and I know that it's still only early January, and I'm nervous I don't have enough wood, but I do find the winter's glorious laziness to be a spa treatment, just as much as I find the meditation of gardening to be a balm for the over-stimulated soul. That being said, I'm nervous and humbled every year before the commitment of gardening. I dream for weeks before planting my first seed about the impossible miracle of a seed sprouting and growing for me. How is it that this tiny seed will grow for me? Am I worthy of its life? Why would she want to grow in my garden? As absurd as it seems, these questions start running through my slowly waking mind as the sun moves toward her longest day. There is nothing left but to be awed and humbled by the miracle of a seed growing for me in my garden.

So if you have the energy to look forward into a new year of garden work and toil, and if the miracle of a sprouting seed doesn't humble you to the point of immobility, check out this awesome blog which tells you all about how to check the germination rates of your old seeds which, it turns out, you don't have to throw out! So if you're prone to overdoing it (like I am) it might not all be for naught. And if you're in the Northeast, do order a few seeds for them. Their artist packs make for great presents, and they're very much worth supporting.

Ah, but my dear readers, I'm worried about the spring. not to the point of immobility, but to the point of vivid dreams. I've worked full time before while having a large garden. It's possible, and even enjoyable, after a day of office work to come home at 5, when the heat has abated, and work until 9, when the sun is just setting, in the garden. But I am worried. What if the potatoes won't grow for me, or the soil turns out to be too rocky to smile on me? What if I really don't want to work full time at this desk through the summer? What if I'd rather be making salves and teas and jams and selling them at farm markets? What if, what if, what if!?

But, my dear readers, we must all work for a living, and that, in itself, is not and cannot be a tragedy. The tragedy, I find, is when it forces us to dream our dreams in secret.

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