Wait for it… wait for it…
By Lana Turnbull
The seed catalogues have been coming in for months, the early spring perennials have bloomed, and the first new leaves are starting to bud. I don’t know about you, but now is the time when my “not so green” thumb starts itching to get back into the garden. When you think about it, the idea of four separate seasons, like we have here in the South, is nature’s way of teaching us hope and faith. We hope for the day the leaves return to the bare trees and the day the grass turns green again and for the landscape to change from the grays and browns of an old charcoal drawing to the soft rich colors of a pastel. We hope and we have faith that spring will come.
Planting seeds is an expression of faith, which no matter how many times I do it, I find wonder in. Think about it. You till up a little plot of soil, you make a hole, drop in a seed, cover it with dirt, gently pat the soil down and then sprinkle it with a little water. As if by magic, if we are lucky and the conditions are right, in a few days there will be a little sprig pushing up enough soil, to reach for the sun. Besides giving birth to our own children, growing a garden is the closest we get to creating life.
I can’t imagine many things we can share with our children and grandchildren (or any other members of the younger generation) that have more potential to impact the way they view their world than teaching them about growing things. It helps them understand that we’re stewards of the earth and that it is our job to take care of it. It illustrates for them how and where we get the things we eat. It also teaches them how to care for other living things…and that there are consequences when we don’t do what we should. (A pepper plant is probably a much better choice for that lesson than a puppy.) Best of all, it helps them to appreciate the joy of anticipation – of waiting for the first leaf, the first bud, the first flower. In a time when we have instant everything, the blessing of patience and the wonder of waiting, are lessons not easily learned.
So get out there and start digging. Invite a pint-sized helper, and plan your spring garden. Get your hands dirty, smell some earth, nurture some seeds and wait – wait for the sun to warm the ground, for the showers to do their part and for the magic to happen. Just plant something and then…as we say in the Delta – jump back and get out of the way.