I’ve been tending these beds for several years. A few years ago, after the consecutive new seed sprouts were nibbled down by critters (rabbits, groundhogs, deer), I finally resigned to putting fencing around (and for deer atop) the plots and beds. It paid off, and, as I heard no complaints, I assume the critters managed to find enough other tasty green things to nibble on.
In response to the last few warm days the hearty kale that overwintered is now in a full-stride growth spurt. I loosened the soil around it and carefully spread the tiny pinhead-sized kale seeds. I sifted a few shovels of the compost pile onto a screen and the “harvest” provided plenty of lightweight fertile umber cover for the seeds. In another bed, I lightly stroked the soil with a hand pick, happily crumbled clumps with my fingers, and leveled the patch with my palms. The rich earth was still warm having absorbed the energy of the beautiful day. I’m not sure if the bed or my hands more enjoyed the massage.
I gently brushed the dirt to create several shallow rows and attentively spaced the beet and spinach seeds in their respective troughs. Despite not knowing what the future months will bring, there’s something very hopeful in the act of folding just enough soil over seeds, nestling them in. It’s like tucking a beloved little one in bed with a familiar blanket, as the full moon begins to wane.
It was a tumultuous previous year, full of hard work, wondrous surprises, and growth in many directions. On this balmy evening, as I sat on my rump in the grasses and plants of my backyard, I noticed a dutiful honey bee collecting spring pollen. In a familiar old cycle, as our world hurls yet again around a faraway star, the earth is into a fresh start, and a new beginning is upon us. The sun beamed a magical golden glow on everything in sight. Today, the soil in these little plots that I tend felt especially fecund, perhaps renewed by the tough year before. Despite all the frenzy swirling about us right now, it feels full of promise, grateful. Me too.