Tuesday, January 24, 2012
Here's clue number 432 that we are back in Texas...
During some of my first interactions with family and friends, I heard many of them say something like...
"I'm so sad you had to leave Haiti...you had just planted your garden."
Texas is a peculiar place, is it not? I guess Texans don't let go of a garden very easily.
Ours has been a relentless pursuit to figure this "grow your own food" thing out, and all we have to show for it so far is a big pile of failure. Yet we're determined. We will grow food. We will. By golly one day, with a full belly of squash and green beans that we harvested right outside our back door, we will mercilessly kick it to the "man."
If we had to live off of any of our past gardens, the entire Hendrick family would have starved to death a decade ago. Our gardens have been unable to sustain even one human being. Or a yard gnome. Instead of the buckets of produce I lustfully dream about while we're planting seeds in the ground in the spring, what we actually get is a child running in the house mid-summer with a lone cherry tomato, holding it in the air, as though they found a diamond..or a gameboy game in the back yard.
Oddly, this astonishing record of failure does not cause us to waiver. Getting the garden ready. Tilling up the soil. Working outside in the sun. Picking out the seeds. Coming in filthy dirty. Going to free gardening classes at the feed store on Saturday mornings. The boys running outside sleepy-headed as soon as they wake up to "check the garden" only to return with a shrug. I guess the work and disappointment is worth it to us even if our only payment is a handful of pitiful lettuce.
We're gearing up for what must be our 8th annual garden fail. I signed up for Sprout Robot.. Have you seen this site? It's an online reminder that tells you what to plant and when to plant it according to your zip code. Plants and robots. My boys are in love. I think this makes us a little bit like the Jetsons. Surely the Jetsons had a successful garden, since they also had a machine that puts your pants on for you.
When I eagerly announced to the kids this morning that we are starting our spring garden in the next few days, our most sarcastic and perceptive son stated the obvious. "Uh...where are you planting it? We don't even have our own house yet or know where we're going to live." I don't know where he gets his sassy mouth.
So I sassed right back.
Maybe I do know where he gets his mouth.
We have seed packets, and dirt, and cups. We'll get earth under our fingernails, hold tiny seeds in our hands, and think of all the hope they bring...of the promises and life they contain. We'll be reminded that while the world is cold and gray, something new is breaking forth in the dark...hidden from our view. New life is coming! Just because we can't see it, doesn't mean it's not growing. With expectancy, we'll care for these tiny seed promises during this time of uncertainty. When we transplant them into our new yard, we'll rejoice at the message one tiny seed can teach a family of souls.
And then let's face it. We'll probably kill all those sweet plants because we can't grow a garden to save our lives.
But. So. What.
Posted by Hendrick Family