Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Grow Baby Grow

This past weekend, I finally planted my garden.  It was hot, humid, and a typical New England summer day.  I bought some tomato and zucchini plants a few weeks ago, after the seeds I started earlier in the spring got scorched the first day I put them outside. (whomp whomp...#gardenerfail)  

In truth, I had been a bit aggressive in my gardening plans earlier this spring. I started tomatoes (2 varieties), heirloom carrots, fennel, broccoli, green beans, pickling cucumbers, zucchini, lavender... yeah, a bit much given my 20' x 8' plot.

I have always loved gardening. When I look at the talents of the older generations of women in my family - my mom is an exceptional seamstress, my grandmother is an equally gifted knitter - I felt like I was letting the family down. I can sew a hem and a button, and knit in a straight line, that's about it.  And then I fondly remember my great grandmother, whom we all referred to as "Gram" or "Sadie" (short for her given name, Sarah).  I was lucky enough to know Gram in my young life, as she passed away when I was 17 and a senior in high school.  I grew up in her former home, where everyone in our family knew about the gardens at Berkeley St.  So, although I can't knit or sew amazing creations, I'm pretty darn good at growing things in the dirt. I'd like to think I inherited that from Gram.

As I was turning my plot of dirt yesterday, I was gleeful to discover earthworms nearly a dozen times in shovelfuls of dirt.  This is huge, since when we moved in and I started working this plot, I realized it was mainly gravel and clay, rocks, weeds, mulch, and random junk that filled this 20' x 8' box next to our patio.  When I'm out in the garden, digging, weeding, and getting dirty, I think of Gram and hope I'm making her proud. 

This time, I couldn't help but think about where I was last year, doing the same digging, weeding, and getting dirty. I remember tears streaming down, as I struggled with why I could grow vegetables, yet my body couldn't function enough to grow a baby. Wishing all the hormones I was taking would work, and by some miracle we could cultivate and grow our family tree without significant medical intervention.  (As you know from a previous post, such was not the case.)

This year, although it will certainly become more challenging as the summer wears on (as I type I'm already nearing 19 weeks pregnant), I am determined to dig and weed and get dirty; determined to grow my vegetables.  Even though it will be a smaller crop than I originally planned. Even though it may take me longer to weed, and I need more breaks to rest.  And you know what, that's ok.  

The funny thing about life is that while we try our best to cultivate the gardens we have always dreamed of, nature has a way of showing us ways to appreciate what we have, even though it may not be the way we had planned. 

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