I recently ordered some seeds. At first, it felt like an extravagance. Not a lot of money was spent but there were certainly other things I could have put that money towards. Immediate needs. But I bought the seeds thinking long-term for when the winter settles in, and all the leaves are gone from the oak tree and the sunlight shines through the many windows of the house. Even in the bitter cold, when on the one hand I am able to photograph ice on the inside of the windows, there are sunlit nooks just warm enough for sprouts to grow and even on occasion my bucket of little potatoes.
The sprouts grow in little dishes so I’m not working with much dirt but whether a few inches of soil or a foot, it brings me joy sometimes and calm always. I feel grounded. Of late I’ve been interacting with friends, family and even strangers for whom the winter is a tough time. I’m tempted to send them all seeds so that they can create winter gardens and perhaps find calm and maybe even joy. But I’m not sure that gardening works that way for everyone. I may do it anyway, out of selfishness, because the act would make me feel good.
I did this past summer mail a young friend a package of edible flower seeds. Someone who can be a little down and get stuck inside her head. I thought working with her hands might be good. She texted me back a picture of the unopened colorful seed packet sealed in a beautiful glass jar. What else could I do but applaud her on the composition of the picture. I mean, who am I to dictate how someone gardens. Later when she came to visit in person I let her taste some of the sprouts I had growing, some mild mixture of greens. I happened to have an unopened package of the seeds tucked away. I gave them to her … along with a little bag of dirt. The next text I received was of a bowl of growing greens.
Just some random thoughts this Sunday morning as I stare at empty vessels waiting for their seeds. The pictures are images of dried flowers from the Belle Isle Reservation.