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Gardening is an exercise in optimism. Let’s begin.

I find that my mid to late summer garden is always a mess. I know I’m not alone, and it doesn’t stop me from showing it off, though my pride may be misplaced. As a busy human (I can’t even just say as a busy Mom cause I know EVERYONE is busy) I find small victories and joy every time I harvest a handful of greens, or string beans or berries from the yard…. but those tend to be bright spots in a sometimes overwhelming landscape.

But the beginning of a garden… preparing it for the next season of planting, getting the seeds or starts in the ground and coaxing them to catch… that bestows a magical feeling of promise and possibility. It’s silly really – I’m not walking into the house afterward with anything tangible except a layer of sweat and maybe some sunburn. Why should being exhausted make me so happy? In part, it may be because of how neat and trim things look in the beginning – but mostly I think it’s because I’m dreaming of the future and of what this work will foster. From rubbish and dirt and seeds we get a harvest! Delicious and fresh and, if purchased at the store, potentially very expensive! I love to participate in the miracle in the making. I am the steward and the witness and without feeling pressured I am humbled and driven to do it. Sometimes as I’m working I am surprised at myself. How did this happen? This is not something I was raised into – I had never cared for an edible plant until 2009 when I dug my first bed. Not everyone who plants a patch of tomatoes feels the need to expand and to grow as I have. For me, this work is much more than a hobby. I feel connected to it – the process, the property and the progress.

However it happened, this is where we are now. I just heard that the elementary school is starting a garden. Hallelujah! That’s what I’m talking about. Put me in coach – I’ll try to ease in and not be the crazy garden lady right off the bat. I’ll save my waxing philosophically for my garden blog and the interwebs.