Spring is almost here. I just started some tomato seeds and set them to sprout on the kitchen windowsill. I do this every year in February, for a couple of reasons.
One, by this point in winter I need to do something garden-related, or I’ll go stir-crazy. Since I fight Seasonal Affective Disorder, this ritual is one I hang tight to.
The second reason is more pragmatic. I love old things, historic things. People, places, structures, morals — even plants. My favorite people are old. So many stories to tell. I live in a historic home. The lives lived here, oh my goodness. I travel to destinations brimming with age-old stories. These places confound my imagination. As to my favorite recipes? Let’s not even start.
So yes, the veggies I grow every year are heirlooms. They require extra time to grow, and sometimes don’t turn out picture perfect, like the produce we find at the grocery store. With some, their skin is too thick and gets caught in your teeth. Others are too thin-skinned and fragile, splitting even after a mild June or July shower.
I plant these babies because I revere history. I like the idea that the things we eat—the very things we’re made of—are what we eventually become. As in “you are what you eat.” This explains my fear of junk-food, right? And my abhorrence to anything synthetic? I’m thinking, yes.
It’s also a case of not wanting to waste any space in my teeny-tiny yard, that miniscule bit of Earth I claim as my own, on something that doesn’t reflect me or my lifestyle. Period.
So, I don’t. The flower seeds I value are the prettiest heirloom double columbine I’ve ever seen. Vintage roses, and Old World poppies. Something the ’49ers might have viewed and loved. The tomatoes I choose aren’t attractive, and probably wouldn’t package well for market. But I love what’s on the inside. The depth of flavor. The intense taste identification with that particular vegetable.
There is a marked difference between store-bought and home-grown, for obvious reasons. Beyond that, there are differences between home-grown and heirloom, and further between different heirloom varieties.
My point is this. Plant what you like, but make sure you enjoy it, savor it, and gift seeds to others. Does the flower delight you? Does that veggie’s flavor wake up your taste buds? Are you better for growing it? Share it!
Now, take it one more step. Look far and deep inside yourself. Yes, I know it’s dark in there. What do you see beyond your too-thick or too-thin skin and less than beautiful exterior? Are you authentic, housing a treasure within a scarred exterior? Please know you are worthy of filling space in God’s garden, that your “seeds” can benefit others.
But do you dare to share enough of yourself to wake others up? Because that’s what some of us need right now. Too many are sleeping, complacent, comfy.
Go ahead, break free. Whatever God is sprouting inside you this year, nurture it. Be brave and trade your seeds of thought with others. Who knows, but that we’ll all be stronger, richer and wiser.
So, take that detour. Walk with God down the garden path and reflect on what He’s planted in you. Grow.
“Help us to be ever faithful gardeners of the spirit, who know that without darkness nothing comes to birth, and without light nothing flowers.” ~ May Sarton
If you’ve enjoyed this post, I welcome you to sign up for my quarterly newsletter. In addition to free recipes, crafts and info. on life’s detours, I do a drawing for a free book from my subscriber list.