As summer begins

There is no better start to a summer’s day (or any day for that matter) than to take one’s morning coffee and venture out to the greenhouse to meet with friends. We meet with our little bundles of seed envelopes, our reliable favorites and our newly acquired hopefuls, as we bring ourselves to the potting benches to begin this summer’s process of sowing and reaping. I still feel the same way at the start of each season, the joy I remember of last year’s bounty, and the promise of this season’s harvest to come, all begun here in this space and time. These tiny seeds and well worn pots and bags of soil will all translate through the work of our hands (and later on our knees) into the fruits of our labor at the time of harvest. As long as there is time there will be seasons. Indeed, some things never change. I love this. I like to think of it as participating in an ancient ritual of our ancestors – tending the earth, me along with the multitudes of people over the centuries who have heeded their inner voices to plan and nurture a garden. I find it a great character-developing process the way the “delayed-gratification” principle of planting and waiting relates to my life and the fulfillment of my desires. I must do the “dirty work” first in order to get the desired results. There are just some lessons in life you can’t possibly learn any other way. There is no instant anything in a garden, it is the process that one must love.

I think of summers past when I would spend entire days in the yard, often forgetting to eat lunch, and not wanting to go inside until the last possible moment when the sun went down and it just became too dark to see. I would grudgingly pull myself away from the last project and scuff my feet in a childlike way back into the house, as if I somehow thought it would help the day not to end. First thing the next morning I sneak out, trusty cup of hot coffee in hand, to check and see what the morning light will bring and if I chose well. Most always I am happy with the results.

Working in a garden is a constant source of energy and ideas and I possess a true passion for working with the land and being in sync with its rhythms. I have kept a garden every summer of my adult life. I hope I always will.

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