Monday, April 13, 2009

Spring, Gardening, and Family

Eweee; almost another month has passed since I last posted. Glad I am not getting paid for this.

Thought for the day: I have enough even, though I expect more. All of my needs are met. I am grateful.

Spring. I don't remember ever being more aware of the transition of Winter to Spring than I am now that I live in a climate where there are four seasons. There is no way I could appreciate these changes when I lived in Florida where I hardly noticed when a season arrived or ended because the signs were so subtle, or even absent. But now, oh now, it is glorious! Many of our trees are still brown but the ones that have begun to bloom are such a welcome sight. The redbuds have purple blooms and I do love those. The maples have warm red leaves on the treetops only. The ornamental pears are white and so spectacular; they were the first to come into full bloom.

Weeping willows have bright, neon green leaves and some of the weeping cherry trees are showing signs of pink. The dalfodils were the first flowers in our yard to bloom; their simple shape and pure yellow color make me smile. And there is so much more to look forward to. It was miraculous to me that literally the weekend after March 21, the first day of Spring,
there were flowers and colors on trees and weren't there before then. It puts nature in perspective; how it all works together in perfect harmony.

We are preparing a garden at the country house. My experience with gardening as a child was prety much limited to the harvest. I was not in favor of getting up at the crack of dawn on Saturdays in the Summer to pick vegatables. Especially since I knew that I'd be eating them whether or not I helped pick them. I didnt like getting my hands dirty, and didnt want to do child labor. It's too bad that I felt that way, and that my parents couldnt seem to influence me to feel any differently. Thankfully, now I do want to be involved in the whole gardening process, and I have a whole new appreciation for fresh, organic vegatables.

I dont really know the size of the garden, but it's big. Peas, chinese cabbage, and blueberries are sprouting in small containers right now , until the time when they will be planted into the ground. A small area has been tilled, but it has rained too much to plant anything. We even had a 2" snow a week ago; no kidding! Other plants have arrived in the mail, but I dont remember what they are. We will have one upside down tomato planting stand; an experiment. I'll post some photos later. I am so very excited about this garden; the idea of it all, just as much as the actual thing.

My grandfather was a gardener extraordinaire. He took all manner of ridicule from his in-laws about the crazy vegatables that he'd try to grow. Well, you know what, he was successful at growing most of whatever he tried. He grew many varieties of peppers; especially hot peppers. Most people in his town had never heard of the kinds of peppers that he grew. More than not, he was the only one willing to taste them, because others feared the heat factor! He even created charts of how hot each type was compared to the others! Every season he made a fresh batch of "Gandaddy's Pepper Sauce", a vinegar and homegrown pepper secret recipe. I think that we ate the last o it on a holiday three or four years ago. His watermellon patch was second to none. Yellow, red, round, seedless; you name it. He studied ways to grow more, and grow better. I didnt realize until now that his gardening skill was something that I greatly admired. Of course, it took a village to raise a garden like that. An acre or so of land, perfectly prepared, and carefully maintained. My grandparents, my Ganmommy's sister's and in-laws, and all of the associated extended families particpated. But mostly, it was Gandaddy, Ganmommy, Aunt Ruth, Aunt MaryLou, and Uncle Taylor who toiled from sun up to sun down. My mind's eye can see each of them standing there right now, out in the garden, working. What a wonderful memory.

There are still places where families work together growing food, picking the crop, and enjoying a taste that is beyond compare. Maybe the children don't yet get any more pleasure from the experience than the yummy-in-the-tummy of a fresh tomato, but I have to believe that one day they will associate gardening with being part something bigger than themselves; family. And they might even be able to expand that concept to include chosen families and families across the world with whom they are connected by a common experience even though they have never met. I sense that there is a trend toward returning something very basic: valueing experiences over things.

No comments:

Post a Comment