Every morning for the past two weeks, including this Earth Day, I’ve peeked out the window to see the garden that my daughter and I have planted in the backyard. This is my first attempt at growing vegetables and herbs; hopefully in the months to come, we will be eating tomatoes, jalapenos, basil, and thyme from the tiny plot of land.
The inspiration to start gardening has been overwhelming. I’ve always had warm memories of my grandparents’ garden as a child, when Frieda and I would spend the afternoons snapping beans in the backyard. But I’ve also been motivated by First Lady Michelle Obama and the deep cultural and historical implications of her decision to plant a vegetable garden at the White House (not to mention the health benefits).
I’ve sown something even more personal in this garden, too. Thanks to Carleen Brice’s lovely book, Orange Mint and Honey, I’ve also turned the soil into a “God Box.” The main character’s mother, Nona, describes the process in which you simply find a small space of earth:
“Write whatever comes to you, whatever you want to let go of… Rip up the paper and spread the pieces like mulch. When the paper breaks down, it makes the soil richer. Come spring, your problem will help the plants grow.” (36)
What a beautiful way to celebrate the growing season! What about you? Planting any meaningful “seeds” this year?