Monday, May 19, 2008

seedlings in may

The seeds are teaching me something about myself.

You wouldn't think so; they're only tiny seeds, after all. But there you go: the seeds are teaching me that deep down, I like things quick, I like things NOW, I like to set the pace. And boy, is that not possible with these little guys!

Last summer, I saved the seeds of two different types of cherry tomato, Tumbler and Cherry Grande. (How that is done is a topic for another post, perhaps this coming fall.) I saved them in two small, black film containers and waited for spring. Then when spring came, I planted them into eight pots, four for each kind. I mixed dirt with manure, and loaded each pot up with nutritious, delicious soil. I set them in the oven to germinate, as tomatoes need darkness to germinate, and our propane stove's pilot light provided just the right amount of heat. And germinate they did! After several days, during which I (of course) checked them every few hours, up came little green leaves.

Excited, I set the pots onto a tray and sat them by the sunny windows, rotating them every so often when they would start leaning too much towards the sun. And in a week's time, they put on about an inch or an inch-and-a-half worth of growth! It was fun to watch them coming along, the speedy little dudes. (Or dudettes.)

But now... they've slowed down. They're taking their sweet time, and only putting on a millimeter or so a day. (Not that I'm measuring...) And this is how the seeds, now seedlings, are teaching me about myself. I've realized that I see tiny seedlings and I start thinking ahead, all sorts of grand thoughts about how they're going to grow into big, bushy tomato plants, dripping with little red globes. I see the first rapid growth spurt and I think, "Wow, this will only take a month until I'm eating cherry tomatoes on my salads!" (And I'm only exaggerating my thought-process slightly.)

But, no. Life works differently. Nature works differently. And for sure, tomato seedlings work differently. They work at their own pace. This is only May, they keep reminding me. Relax. Sit back. Have some tea, and watch the rain falling on the sodden garden. We will make cherry tomatoes, but it's going to take a bit of time.

I do still check them often, rotating them on sunny days. But now I look at that checking time as an opportunity to just appreciate the little spunky seedlings, instead of bemoan what they aren't, just yet.


In other news, my brother Mat is home now from college, and he is working at his co-op job. So now my "office" is back to its previous function, which is his bedroom, so I'm not online as much, now that I have to dig under piles of clothes to even find the computer. (I'm mostly kidding. Mostly.)

I'm also not online as much for a few other reasons: one being that since Mat is home, I hang out with him more, and when I'm not hanging out with him, I tend to be doing my own thing, but not wanting to be on the Internet. Another reason is that the weather is nice now, or at least, it's not sleeting or snowing, so there is outdoors stuff to be done. And by outdoors stuff, I mean the gardening, but I also mean the very necessary "task" of sitting on the deck with my big sun-hat on, reading or listening to my portable radio. Ah, it's rough, this life.

One more thing: I recently finished two really good books, pretty much one after the other. The first one is "The 100-Mile Diet", a book which has gotten a lot of press over the last year, but which I hadn't yet read. So I requested it from the library, opened it to the first page, and didn't leave until the last page, give or take a few trips to the bathroom, and sleeping. It's a fantastic book, but rather than get into an in-depth review, I'll just say, you should check it out.

The other book really, really worth checking out is "Eat, Pray, Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was also published in the last year, and has gotten a lot of press. Different people have recommended it to me, but it wasn't until I heard the author speaking with Shelagh Rogers on Sounds Like Canada that I thought, OK, I really need to read this book. So I went on the library website and looked it up. The regular-print version had a waiting list 40 people long. The large-print version had 3. Guess which waiting list I put myself on? So that's how I came to be reading "Eat, Pray, Love" in 16. pt lettering, which is a little hard on the eyes after a while, but not so bad if you hold the book far away from you.

Anyway, I inhaled the book. I started it Friday night and finished Sunday morning. I laughed, and though I didn't cry, I did take in an awful lot of an amazing journey to the center of the self, to God, to the bliss that is possible. I found I had a lot in common with Ms. Gilbert, and I also found she had a lot to teach me. So now the book is on my "Gotta-Buy" list, which I'm compiling until it goes over $40, at which point I can get free shipping at the Chapters-Indigo website.

So that's our news of late: it's been raining a lot, the garden and lawn are greening up, Mat is home now, and we're here, breathing and reading, loving one another, and eating as much delicious, local food as possible.

How about you? What are your thoughts? What green things are you watching? Have you read either of these two fabulous books? Do tell.

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