Harvest Day

Harvest Day
Winter crops

Friday, March 23, 2012

Giving and Taking, a March story

It has been several weeks now since I've posted a new entry.  This is by far our busiest season in the gardens as we get a new delivery season kicked off after a nearly-three month break, and at the same time we are frantically planting seeds for all the summer vegetables, nursing along baby tomato, eggplant and pepper plants on the porch, and doing the dozens of other springtime chores that all seem to need tending at once.

New Leaves on the Pecans
The pecan trees are sprouting leaves like crazy and when you look up through their towering limbs with squinted eyes, they appear to be wrapped in pale green gauze.  Local wisdom dictates that it is safe (from frost) to plant the garden when the pecan leaves are the size of a squirrel's ear.  We're there!

Our newly planted apple and plum trees are all leafed out prettily, the fig trees have fresh new leaves and our mighty pear tree is looking downright summery.  Mockingbirds are fighting over nesting territory and doing love dances on the lawn, the low hum of carpenter bees is a constant, and we are keeping a close eye on every weather front that approaches, knowing they can turn awesome-wicked in the blink of an eye.

Amid the glorious thrill of renewal is a great and terrible sadness for us.  We've learned in the past three weeks that two dear friends have been newly diagnosed with inoperable, life-threatening cancers.  One friend is also a Breaking Away CSA member, a husband and the father of two young sons; the other is a very dear and giving woman who has made helping others her life's work.  It is these situations we all dread hearing of, we all pray won't happen to us.

Will and I have discussed at length our sorrow for their struggle, our sadness for their families, and looked at ourselves and each other with different eyes.  It is hard not to fear that it could be one of us next.  And on the heels of this thought, we wonder what we can do for our friends?  It is somehow less than satisfying to offer the usual promise of thoughts and prayers, though they are heartfelt.  And the simple truth remains, there is nothing to be done.  They each have their struggle to contend with and must find their own way of making peace with their plight.  So what is left for us to offer?  Maybe this:  we will really look at the beauty around us, truly see and taste and smell and hear all the glory we are surrounded with and hold each other closer.  We'll put aside the petty annoyances that mar the perfection of life and we'll tell those we love how much we value them.  We'll do this in tribute to our friends and to honor the joy they've brought to our life.  We'll put forth into the universe the love we feel and send visions of healing and strength their way.  We'll revel in the abundance all about us and remain thankful for each day we are given and for the simple beauty to be found in a berry or a leaf, the loyalty of a dog-friend, the sweetness of birdsong on the soft, warm air and the embrace of a partner.

And what better time to do this than Spring?

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