February 17, 2011 § 2 Comments
Over the past three or four years we’ve had a garden. It’s been off and on, we’ve cared for it in varying degrees depending on what’s going on at the moment (it was really neglected when kids were just born), and its productivity has been hit and miss. Last summer we had so much okra we couldn’t give it away fast enough. The same summer we couldn’t get a single tomato to survive blight, aphids, cut worms, etc. It was very discouraging at the time.
Losing a whole crop is pretty annoying (If I were a real farmer it wouldn’t be just annoying, I know) but it doesn’t take away one of the true pleasures I take in having a garden: just watching it grow. The life cycles of plants fascinate me. They start as seeds so tiny they will slip through your fingers if you aren’t careful. Then they shoot up as tender little things, bright green, and so fresh. They develop leaves and then hopefully some fruit. They change in size, structure, texture…everything. Except at the end, when you open the fruit or the plant is about to die, you can find a seed, just like the one you planted.
Every time we start a new batch of seeds, and every time they sprout, I feel so hopeful. I’m hopeful that we will get the “fruit”, yes, but there is another kind of hope that is not dependent on whether or not the plants “work”. I’m hopeful in the one who has the power to make things grow. The seasons of death will always give way to new growth. I find it so reassuring.