I know, I know… my desires to dance a little and titter like a school child may have been a bit overboard, but for years, I’ve wanted a small vegetable garden. Time, rabbits, deer and not being around much during the summer have been my excuses, but this year, when the opportunity called my name, I responded with a resounding “count me in.”
Sometimes, I am as giddy as a seven year old, and I love it. Today was a perfect example as I discovered the spinach seeds I planted a week ago have now pushed through the earth. See what I mean? Don’t they usually conduct experiments in school like this when kids are about seven? I’m not even apologizing for my exuberant enthusiasm.
My sisters have been long time, major league gardeners; my brother too, so some of this may have sprouted in my DNA. They remember mom gardening more than I do – I remember the wild things like asparagus, rhubarb and raspberries. So in a few weeks, I hope to be eating (and sharing) peas, beans, tomatoes, peppers, rosemary, basil, and of course, spinach.
But this isn’t even as much about gardening as it is about that feeling you get when you want to squeal like a Little Leaguer catching the final out in a big game, or reeling in your first fish with Grandpa at your side. That’s a fun feeling, and I think I lost that for a long time. Work and family responsibilities probably consumed more time and energy than I realized, because now in retirement, it seems like I am back into a discovery mode, and it’s fun!
My life is filled with simple joys. I don’t have the delights of grandchildren to entertain me, so I need to look elsewhere. My own spin on a recipe turning out better than I’d imagined, a visit to an obscure museum in a different city, running my fingers across local textiles in a far-away country, and now, gardening, in my own backyard – well almost. These all bring me great delight.
I don’t think it matters how or why unbridled joy finds us, but rather, that we still allow ourselves to experience it, even when it seems we have to dig deep to unleash it from the depths of our souls.
Today, it was spinach in my garden. Tomorrow? Who knows, but I think it’s time to see if my tap shoes still fit.
(Note: My garden plot is in a community garden a nearby church created four years ago by building these beds on top of an unused portion of their parking lot, and fencing it in. They use rain barrels to collect the water needed. I’m sure they’d rather have more members attend, but this is just another form of seed planting. Yep, I’m plot #10.)
What have you done that gave you that same feeling of joy exhilaration? Please share.
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