Perhaps it’s self evident to say that seeds are one of the most miraculous things in existence.
Up there with Aurora Borealis.
In early April, little packages arrived in the mail. Poppy, Larkspur, Queen Anne’s Lace, Bells of Ireland, Zinnia, Statice, Verbena, Scabiosa and others, all tucked away in paper packages. When they arrived I laid them all out on my bed and imagined the potential spread out in front of me. I can safely say that I wasn’t quite prepared for the feeling of awe and humbleness that grew in me, just as the little seeds grew in the earth and fulfilled their genetic destiny. All it took was soil and water and sun and these little things, some no bigger than, well, a poppy seed, turned into poppies. Having taken for granted the mechanics of the seed, I was unprepared for the sweet joy that came from watching something small grow into something so beautiful.
I think I understand the joy and sorrow of parenthood a little better. I wanted them all to thrive. I gave them a place to grow, water to sustain them, sun to give them strength and fertilizer to help them along. When they suffered in the heat, I suffered with them, when they revived, I was heartened. I remember one rainy, cold and windy night, Dave texted me to say, simply, “I’m worried about the seedlings”. I told him it would be alright, but I was worried too.
The cool spring passed and the long days and sunny skies saw the little seeds and seedlings push up toward the sky. I found myself visiting them every day, sometimes staring for minutes at a single plant, just to see if it would grow under my gaze. The tomatoes grew little golden hairs that shimmered at sunset. The sweet peas blossomed and smelled so heavenly sweet in the mornings and the Queen Anne’s lace bent to the wind, until I tied it up with twine. The Bells of Ireland, with their perfect little green caps, grew taller and taller and I marvelled. The poppies opened like delicate tissue. After a few short days their papery petals were inevitably blow off by the wind and nothing but tiny pods bobbed on their long stalks. The Zinnia grew straight and strong and blossomed in hot pinks and yellows and reds. The Statice was abundant and rustled at my touch.
The garden and the flower are not new to me, I’ve known the pleasures of watching things poke through the ground in the springtime and sinese humbly in the fall, making the slow return to the earth from which they grew. Well, its all a little less poetic when you’ve got a leafblower on your back, though the smell of mixed gas still makes me a little nostalgic for landscaper days.
I feel blessed by the pride that swelled in me when the garden grew. And faith! And faith! In magic and time and sunshine sorting out most things of importance. Now, nod your head and go plant something.