What are YOU doing to keep your mind off the current life changes? Spring cleaning, for sure, came early in my house. I have organized, cleaned, and food-prepped everyday until night fall, when I look forward (more than ever before) to a glass of wine and what ever Netflix program I am currently watching: The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is my current one. Dang I wish I could write such quick witted scripts! And the cloths… can we say Fabulous!
I will tell you though, that the most enjoyable and comforting thing I have done so far is to plant seeds: peppers, lettuce, micro greens and other manageable things I can keep in front of a sunny area or on my kitchen window sill. Some pots were large while the micro greens, which by the way will sprout within ten days, went into tiny little pots I had saved from last summer. Why did this comfort me so much? Because with each tiny seed I carefully set into dirt, all I could think was – Life For Later. Later, after this destructive nightmare is over!
I will admit how grateful I am for having a home with a yard and a greenhouse in a suburban countryside area, nestled between the Nations Capitol and the Chesapeake Bay, but this home has only been my home for the past few years. Before that, I lived in an apartment in Rio, one in Tampa, another in Miami, and the last one was in Annapolis MD, while I was processing the empty nest segment of my life. In every one of those apartments, I planted manageable, eatable things in pots. It made my dwelling place feel like a permanent home, one in which I would grow many things, including my own age.
When Covid-19 appeared to be closing in and the whole toilet paper thing hit, I went to my local garden shop, which is usually bustling in early spring, but it was empty. Eerie. I noticed that the wall shelves were already fully stocked with seeds for planting, and so I stocked up. What a weird thing to do, but my brain shifted into survival mode, and leafy green ‘anything’ became my object of desire.
When winter first arrived, I planted a variety of lettuce seeds in my greenhouse with only a small heater to keep the chill off. They were slow to grow but eventually became beautifully eatable, deliciously eatable I might add.
So imagine my surprise when I went out into the greenhouse the other day to water my greens and noticed sprouts already popping up from the pot I had just planted new seeds only three days prior!
Happy? For today, the beauty of these sprouts of green are making me happier than I ever remember feeling when planting or eating something I have grown. I suppose it is the fear we each are harboring during these miserable, uncertain times. The happiness I feel today while looking into my pots of dirt is the hope of Life For Later…
The metaphor of planting seeds as life for later began to spill over into other aspects of my life; Dreams Are Like Seeds, writing a story about my life I never had the courage to tell, utilizing artistic talents I never had time for, planning way ahead of this mess for things I want to do when it is safe to do them. When I first looked at pots of dark brown dirt, I never imagined so much life could burst out of it, but it did, and so I am looking at this dark time, just as I did the dirt and find myself feeling hopeful about what seeds I can plant to enjoy life later.
Be safe each and every one of you. Do something that makes you feel hopeful right now. Write that book you always wanted to write. Go onto YouTube and learn how to do something new you have had a curious interest in. Send away for prints of all your favorite photos and get them into a book you can tangibly hold in your hands. Do something productive with this lockdown time, something that will make you feel a morsel of joy right now. xoxo