I planted some seeds indoors yesterday-mild banana peppers, eggplant, basil, parsley, thyme, rosemary. Some of the seeds were off the shelf this year, and some were dug out of my stash from past years. I’m not sure if they’ll grow at all, but I’ll soon know. (I also sprinkled a few lettuce and spinach seeds in a pot.) I still have more to plant-tomatoes (I’m going to try not to go so crazy with them this year), bell peppers, cucumbers, melons, squash (those 3 won’t be for a few weeks yet). I need to get out to the garden beds yet and get seeds for my cole crops (broccoli, kale, cabbage, kohlrabi) in the ground before things heat up too much. There are some root crops begging to be planted as well: carrots, beets, parsnips (I recently discovered that I really like parsnips-yummy roasted!), turnips and radishes for Deb.
If I get off my butt and do the successive plantings that I have planned, we’ll have way more than we need-but it will be fun to watch it grow! I’ll need to do successive batches of canning as well, instead of just waiting until September when there is a bumper crop of tomatoes. I’ll have to do early beets, pickled veggies in a gardeneria-type of concoction, and clean, blanch and freeze kale, broccoli and maybe cauliflower (I think I forgot to get seed for that).
Amidst all of this seed planting and spring bulbs singing a chorus of colors, I am also acutely aware of the cycle of life not simply being the joy of birth and growth, but also the sad harvest of age, sickness and eventually death. In all of this talk of planting, I am acutely aware that I don’t have to plant extra carrots and tomatoes this year because my beloved thieving Little Bit won’t be here to take first pick of the best of everything right out of the dirt or off of the plant. I am anxious as I see people close to me battling health issues and I am unable to stop the cycle of illness.
And yet, with sick loved ones, and others aging rapidly or in need or in pain, I still find joy in the cycles of life. Spring once again reminds me that not all is dark, not all is illness or pain. We go on, and after us-the daffodils will keep renewing their lives each spring-after the cold and despair and seeming death of winter. Still, there is life. Still, there will be life, even after I am gone and even after humans are gone there will still be flowers and tomatoes (or some evolutionarily related tomato like species) and carrots and slugs to eat the pepper plants (ditto with the evolutionarily related statement on all of these living nouns). Still, there will be births, renewal, lives and deaths throughout time-throughout the life of this amazing planet that we call home.
Today, I am grateful for all the beauty that surrounds me in the spring riot of growth. I am grateful for the love that surrounds me in the arms, eyes, hearts and words for those who choose to share my life and who I also choose to share mine. I am grateful for the sacredness that surrounds me in the plants, the four-leggeds, the stones, the stars, the two-leggeds and the tiny seed sprouting in trays in my entryway. I am grateful for the cycle of life, for I am constantly reminded that this too will end and this too will begin again.