Thursday July 2nd, 2020
There was never a better time to begin my love affair with gardening and it’s deep seduction as the last few months. The pandemic had stopped my world in one afternoon, one out- breath. Not sure what I wanted to breathe back in, I went home and waited. The creative muse draped herself by my side each morning, empty handed and breathless. Perhaps, I thought, if i am to be home for the summer, I could start a garden? She lifted her head with a smile and pointed to the barren yard - we would need planters and lots of them! Each planter began to fill with herbs, tomato plants, corn, zucchini and the mandatory peppers and sunflowers. The muse flitted across the hummingbird’s path, catching at the bird song as she planned the next plot of land.
Pull up the irises! There are flower beds to use! Flower beds that now are home to passionfruit vine, squash, morning glories and marigolds. The muse and I gathered seeds from farmer’s market fruit and from every flower we visited; planting them among the tumble of stems and stalks, leaves and vines, so that when they pushed to the sun, we would delight in their surprise.
I have jars and fast food clamshell containers with seeds gathered for next planting. Each with a note to self about what it is and when it was harvested. Cilantro and chamomile, peppers, cantaloupe and tomato seeds slipped into envelopes, glass jars and wrapped carefully in paper towels. The apricots we just picked were stewed, their seeds dried and cracked, nestled in a bag of soil and refrigerated in their pseudo winter stages. What dreams are locked within each seed?
This house had been left silent for some time before I moved in. The lady had passed away, possibly here and all that is left of her are the dormant flower beds and paths sliced into the hard lava cap and stone. This week I began to dismantle the verandah decor to get ready for the power washing and house painting to come. I opened the small storage door that I have ignored as empty these few years. Inside were a few bags of half full potting soil and 5 brown paper grocery bags. I unrolled the top of the first and found a dozen bulbs hibernating in the blanket of dirt and folds of paper. Hyacinths I think. The second bag held several more. The third bag made me gasp! Seeds! A packet of wildflower seeds and Cosmos! I was thrilled and immediately snipped off the top of each packet. The muse, the lady and I wandered the garden and sprinkled her seeds. She was delighted.With each spray of seeds she laughed a little more. That is what they were for!
The fourth bag held empty used plastic containers.I put it aside to recycle. It was late. I had a class to teach and dinner to prepare, so I left them both relaxing on the veranda, enjoying the windchimes and evening garden buzz. I would have to find them again after class in the morning.
It is now midday and I have settled in to clean up the porch. The bags are bunched up by my coffee table and I need to get some paperwork done. Best to move it all and deal with it when I have time.
Time? When you have what? What is now? Isn’t that a time?
I smiled, they had waited for me here so that we could open the fifth bag together. I peeked in. My breath caught, my eyes burned with the slow spread of tears… she had gathered seeds! Each were stored in jars and envelopes, used clamshell plastic containers and each lovingly labeled, with notes. She sat back in her chair and just watched, a smile so deep you could plant the earth in it settled on her face.
These are for you.
Hundreds of Nasturtium seeds, Poppies and a large unidentified seed collection along with bags of her care-filled gleening of seeds gathered for the dreams they hold. She had not left such a barren field afterall.
Scatter them, plant them, give them away. If there ever was a time to plant a dream it is now.