I stood with seed packets in hand and looked at my patch of soil. I decided to go with my instincts, jump in with both feet, quite literally.
I thought it would be simple. Just put the seeds in the ground, water them regularly, and eventually they’ll grow.
But then this week the time came to plant and questions arose. Is it really time to plant? How do I know? I’ve never done this before. Should I sow all the seeds in case some don’t grow or should I save some for next year? How close together should I sow the seeds? How deep? Which plants grow best together? What if…nothing happens?
I stood with seed packets in hand and looked at my patch of soil. I decided to go with my instincts, jump in with both feet, quite literally. The rich, black dirt caked around my toes and I thought, “This is good dirt.” I put down lettuce with onions, spinach with radishes—companion plants that should support each other’s growth. I hope for the best.
Ray and I haven’t been very social the past couple of months. We’ve been lying fallow over the summer. This weekend was different. I reached out to some of my old friends. Our contact has been very limited over the past several years and huge changes have taken place during my absence. Pain and loss have not been strangers to my friends. They’ve had their share of shit.
Relationships are awkward, especially when beginning, or re-beginning. “Bear with us, we don’t do this very often,” my friend said as we stood in her kitchen while she prepared dinner. “Neither do we!” I said. We spent the evening getting to know each other as we are now, as life has changed us.
“Your garden is sprouting,” my dad said as he came in the back door a couple of days ago. I was surprised. I had only planted the seeds a few days earlier, but a good, heavy rain had fallen. Maybe it was only weeds. I rushed out to the yard. Relief, surprise, joy. It wasn’t weeds. My efforts had not been in vain.
When we planned to move to the States, my expectations were simple: Just get home and everything else will fall into place. It has not been quite so easy. Now that our feet have hit the ground, our doubts have started to surface. What are we doing here? How do we function in this different culture? How do we connect? We have re-planted ourselves and seem to have as little control over our personal growth as I have over the growth of my garden. But the fallow ground begins to sprout the same weekend that I see my friends. Coincidence? Maybe.
I found a heap of ashes in my compost the other day, dumped there by my father. “Is that a good idea?” I asked him. “Absolutely,” he said. “Ashes makes the roots go deeper.” We, like new leaves, are fragile, vulnerable. But the dirt is thick, enriched with compost and ashes. Our experiences are varied, and the remains of pain are evident in us. It is the perfect environment for new life to emerge.
Let’s see what may grow.