As you may have guessed I love gardening. But what I REALLY love is the idea of gardening.
I love winter because it is a time I can dream of little plants and seeds and I can think up all the projects that I’ll be able to do as soon as spring arrives. There is no commitment in winter. In winter all is fantasy.
It’s this period of fantasy that allows me to recover from the realities of summer and fall.
Summer is the season when weeding gets out of control, the insects and birds have enjoyed my produce more than I have, it’s when spindly unproductive plants sit there in the garden and openly mock my efforts. Summer is when I fully understand what it means in Genesis that “by the sweat of your brow, you will eat your food”.
Fall is when I fully reap my disappointment. It is a time of reflection when I realize that I spent far more money trying to grow my own produce than I ever would have dreamed of spending at the grocery store. Fall is when I truly do give Thanks, grateful that I don’t rely on my feeble ability to draw sustenance from the soil. It is the season where I harvest the bitter pill of great expectations wilting and shriveling on the vine.
So, I need winter. I need that time to dull the edges of a harsh reality. And I dream.
But spring! Spring is the season of renewed hope! By the time spring has rolled around I’m riding a seed catalog induced high of delusional confidence that this year will finally be my year!
I build on winter’s dreams with spring purchases. I diligently study and research the “how to”s for planting and growing. I’m ready this time. I’ve learned from last year’s mistakes. And, really, so what if I only harvested one tiny watermelon last year? It was after all the best dang watermelon I’ve ever had! I can’t pass up the opportunity to have another one.
So, spring has dawned. And with it the infinite hope for a brighter future. A future without squash beetles or horn worms. A summer with plentiful rains at just the right moment. The hope that benevolent little garden gnomes will pull weeds from the garden while I sleep peacefully – dreaming of blossoms and busy bees and delicious berries that the birds kindly leave for me to enjoy.
Yes, spring is the season of hope and renewal, new beginnings and unbounded optimism.
May spring’s hopes bloom eternal!