In the bulb there is a flower; in the seed, an apple tree;
In cocoons, a hidden promise: butterflies will soon be free.
In the cold and snow of winter there’s a spring that waits to be,
Unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see.
Today I visited the community garden plot–one month away from the day I can start digging. It’s a perennial plot, which means it doesn’t get tilled over every year unless I do it. The local park district tills all the annual plots.
This picture shows the remnants of last year’s kale, and the promise of next year’s raspberries. I don’t know what it is about gardening, but I’ve noticed that many people who like to sew also like to garden. I’m not sure that the inverse is true. I am not an elegant gardener. (I am not an elegant sewist either.) But if determination counts for anything, then I’m in with the best.
It’s getting harder these days to till everything by hand with a pitchfork. I bought a Mantis rototiller a couple of years ago and I get my strong young nephew to help haul it and plow. Last year, halfway through the plot he stopped and turned to me. “This is hard work!” said the high school football player.
I laughed. Kid, that’s just the turn of the soil–way more work to come.
Of course food is work. For centuries, as human beings, we did nothing else but work for our food. We survived long enough to reproduce and then teach our kids how to work for food. Now our kids are all playing Minecraft–because food is in the pantry or just a run to the grocery store or the drive-thru.
Ah, but in the summer. In the summer, food comes from the ground. We share it with the ground squirrels and the birds and the bugs. But we share it just the same. And this fallow time of year is quite a reminder that the promise of new life is just around the corner. Guaranteed.