Thursday, April 14, 2011

How does your garden grow

When I married Rich, I enjoyed discovering this whole new world of domestica and wife-dom. Three years in, and I can say I enjoy keeping my house clean, my meals healthy (and yummy), and my space filled with nurturing, maternal love. It may sound hokey, but I embrace what I like and I do enjoy a spotless window, (out of which to spy on my neighbours, I mean watch the sunset).
When I re-stained our antique cedar chest, I stood tall, feeling accomplished in my quest to make our house a home. I nodded to myself in silence, with tears in my eyes, the first time I stood back to look at Abby's finished nursery: a product of nine months' worth of fabric decisions, crib research and painting two pictures I had hoped would make her smile.
I have never really wondered why building our home gives me such warm satisfaction, but I knew it had something to do with growth.
Getting somewhere.
Knowing we started our marriage with a near-empty bank account and a rented duplex full of hand-me-down furniture, and have already made a home full of comfort, love, and a great widescreen TV.
I love the transformation, the process of seeing something beautiful come from as little as an idea. Of painstakingly saving for the Perfect Couch and finally bringing it home. It is soul-satisfying to see bread cooling on a rack, knowing my hands brought it from yeast and flour to healthy, moist bread.
I love watching my little girl sleep, knowing she has transformed from two little cells to a thriving, loud, wild girl by our love and nourishment.
She is my real-life flesh and bones garden.
But I'm finding that in my domestica, I do enjoy a real garden, too.
I've failed at growing anything from seed and watching it thrive. (Except for Abby, of course). I love being surrounded by green: it is growth, it is progress, it cleans our air and it gives my little green thumb something to smile about every morning.
It is far too early for me to plant vibrant flowers and dramatic bushes in my front garden. Any remaining soil or sprouts from last year still sit under at least a foot of snow (albeit, continuously melting snow!).
I started my gardening indoors, on my kitchen table, in those black plastic partitioned plant-starter things. I planted rosemary, oregano, thyme and basil, (because any plant of mine has got to have purpose). I planted a few seeds in each little square, hoping that the laws of probability might yield at least a couple plants that might survive and grow long enough to become actual, edible herb plants.
Two weeks later and I love starting my morning peeking into each square, checking on my seeds, asking them to please grow big and strong. Oh, come on. Talking to plants is supposed to help them grow, right? I'm way past being discovered as the kooky neighbour, anyway. I think I tackled that issue well enough during my car wash karaoke sing-alongs last summer.
I spray those mini-plants (buds?) every day and so far, I am proud to report, so good! None have keeled over and died, none have been over-watered or under-watered. I have learned to be patient with their progress and to leave well enough alone.
I am encouraged by their daily struggle to grow up out of the soil and towards the sun. It's a simple and telling tale of growth to reflect upon each morning, over our (homemade) toast, peanut butter and bananas.

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