It was just the end of January that the tiny little seeds I carried from Florida to Illinois with me started their new lives. Dirt, seeds, light, water and OUT COMES FOOD – amazing. I also purchased seeds from Rare Seeds and Seeds of Change, and grew all of this under one small grow light: tomatoes, peas, broccoli, peppers, lettuce, beets, cilantro, basil, cantaloupe and watermelon.
It’s so cool to see those tiny seeds start to pop thru the dirt – especially the watermelons that the starting point is what the seed releases in the dirt then pushes the shell out the top! During those first days in readying the trays, soil and seeds I found myself feeling overcome by feelings of deep gratitude and humility. The design of nature is so grand I was reminded of this old joke:
One day a group of scientists got together and decided that man had come a long way and no longer needed God. So they picked one scientist to go and tell Him that they were done with Him. The scientist walked up to God and said, “God, we’ve decided that we no longer need you. We’re to the point that we can clone people and do many miraculous things, so why don’t you just go on and mind your own business?”
God listened very patiently and kindly to the man. After the scientist was done talking, God said, “Very well, how about this? Let’s say we have a man-making contest.” To which the scientist replied, “Okay, we can handle that!”
“But,” God added, “we’re going to do this just like I did back in the old days with Adam.”
The scientist said, “Sure, no problem” and bent down and grabbed himself a handful of dirt.
God looked at him and said, “No, no, no. You go get your own dirt.”
As Carl Sagan said in Cosmos, “To really make an apple pie from scratch, you must begin by inventing the universe.”
The humility that comes from recognizing the power in nature and in the universe that humans cannot touch is so warm and invigorating. The deep love and gratitude that springs forth from that place feels like life itself to me!
Ok, I know, back to gardening.
My limited experience with gardening was all in Florida. The arctic tundra I was in this past winter required starting things inside and transplanting a few months later. We lost a lot in that transfer, but later we planted green beans, cucumber, more watermelon, corn, and okra.
So here we are now – 5 months later – and our garden is bursting at the seams. I’ve been researching canning and dehydrating methods and am getting ready to purchase a pressure canner so I don’t loose any of those tasty morsels and our next arctic winter won’t be so bad to face with warm gumbo in hand. I’ve learned a lot and I have recognized how important it is to me to shift away from having to make money to growing my own. Each step away from consumerism to self sufficiency feels like printing money, and I enjoy my days gardening and cooking tremendously!