Greetings, dear readers. It’s a relaxed Tuesday evening and I’m enjoying the little quiet spot between sunset and lights-out. These are the longest days of the year, giving me lots of daylight to get outside with the dogs and to get into the garden.
The garden is on my mind these days. There’s a phrase that plays like a refrain in my thoughts: Grow where you’re planted.
Parsing the meaning reveals layers of meaning for me. It can mean “make the best of where you are”. It can mean “cultivate something where you are”. It can mean “get rooted and celebrate it”. All of that resonates for me right now. As you patient readers know, I have been on a campaign to put my house in order, working through various forms of disarray to create a better place to cultivate a better life. Cultivation requires care, food, water, and – yes, I am now fully aware – pruning. [D’you hear that – last year’s holiday catalogs???]
I am also looking to sit better in this place where I’ve lived for more than 20 years. It is sometimes an itchy fit. But it’s getting better. My neighbor and I recently engaged in a fortuitous exchange of plant seedlings. I found a home for an astonishing excess of tomato seedlings (Baker Creek seeds are quite amazing) and she returned the favor with sturdy cucumber, squash and banana peppers in tiny pots. They’re now replanted and thriving, along with neighborly good will. This is sweet and really does sink my roots a little deeper here.
There is something exquisitely pleasing about planting a seedling and seeing it thrive. Watching day by day as small leaves grow bigger, seeing the stem thicken and then pop out flower buds way earlier than you thought possible. There is a deep satisfaction in the getting a whiff of the tangy scent of tomato leaves while you water, and seeing them stand tall and straight. It’s partly the food that will come from your own hand and your own soil. It’s also the alchemy that turns dirt, water, and sunshine into food, with just a little sweat equity.
Maybe the thought I’m seeking is that putting the same equity into relationships would yield similar grace to the table. Not a bad lesson to carry into the summer growing season.
Wishing you all good green and growing things.
Stay tuned for more on the Here’s a Quarter blog next week! As always, your thoughts and comments are always welcome – they are moderated (I know – adulting again), so they may take a little while to appear, but I read them all and appreciate that you were here. Thank you!
My new story collection is now available: Dog Days . I’d love to hear your thoughts if you check it out!