It’s been a rather dark winter. It slammed us in the face early with super cold weather and snow (though of course I was out of town for all the good stuff in December) and sort of lingered on from there. I actually really love fall and winter. The blazing colors of the fall treeline and the fresh, cold air and the spindly trees of winter on my drive to work are beautiful to my heart. They symbolize warmth and order to me somehow- a perseverance and finality. And a hope for something to come.
But for some reason, I feel a bit ragged around the edges coming out of it this year. No doubt inconsistent times with the Lord and a stressful season at work comes into play, but for whatever reason this year I find myself longing for spring.
In my uncharacteristic fervor for spring, I actually went out and bought seeds and a little Jiffy planter thing to try to grow my own herb garden (insider secrets and helpful tips welcome). I have never successfully grown anything in my life. I am not being modest. My mother brings me flowers and potted plants on a regular basis that I promptly take out on my back patio to face the elements alone and prove their mettle. Unfortunately, that generally results in their eventual death.
But not anymore!
I’m turning over a new leaf (oh pun!) and am committed to becoming a gardener this year. It has been the sweetest thing to plant those seeds in the little dirt pellet things and wake up every morning to go see their progress. (We live in a four room townhouse, so it’s they take up about a third of my available counterspace, not easy to miss). Amazingly enough they sprouted. And sprouted. And sprouted. I carefully followed the Jiffy pot instructions and began lovingly referring to them as “my sprouts.” Graham never did start calling them that. Tough guy.
Last week after temperatures had lingered in the 50s for over a week I bravely took the plunge and transplanted my sprouts into big boy containers and the weather promptly plunged into the 40s for the foreseeable days. Perfect.
So I’m still watching them closely and hoping. They don’t seem to be ready to kick the bucket yet, and I’m hopeful.
The sprouting trees all around- their fresh green and pink and the little sprouts in my teeny little garden are meaning more and more to me these days. The newness of live after a dormant season of winter. The reality that despite dark seasons the lightness, the color of spring is right around the corner. Every single time. The rush of creativity that comes from cultivating something in the dark, of laboring when all it feels I’m dealing in is dirt. I’ve seen people get so excited over gardening and I think I’m starting to get it. We were made to create and cultivate. It’s an incredible feeling to grow something living, that started from a teeny little seed and now is this green tangle of shoots.
On my run today in the cold, the trees are sprouting in the historic district and it’s sweet to know that despite the cold spring is here. All around us. Growing strongly. (Hopefully) Like my garden. I’ll let you know how it goes.
I can’t wait.