“Yay!” was his quick reply.
(In person, he might’ve adopted a mocking tone, but by text I chose to believe he was sincere.)
At my urging, we had been checking morning, noon and evening like doting parents — scanning the ground wherever I had plunked seeds for any sign of life.
Waiting for germination is one of the most excruciating gardening tasks for me. I can haul rocks until my back aches, hoe weeds until my hands blister, pull weeds until my knees cramp and shovel manure or mulch until my shoulders burn. But the interval between when I poke a seed into the soil and the slightest bit of greenery arises I find absolutely painful.
I’m utterly powerless. All the magic is beyond my control.
I can set up the conditions: A little water. A little heat. Sometimes a little dark; sometimes a little light. But the rest is out of my hands. Together these elements inspire DNA encased within a tiny shell to produce life.
Voilà! Just like that.
Scientific explanations notwithstanding, I find it amazing. When sprouts emerge, I get downright giddy. Joy just bubbles over.
So I did the happy gardening dance all by myself. And then made the rounds of the other seed beds.
Sure enough — beets, Swiss chard and some lettuces also are up. Carrots always take their sweet time, so I wasn’t surprised to find no sign of feathered shoots there.
The recent heavy rains washed the squash seeds from their mounds in the raised beds. We’ll need to trek to the store for fresh cocozelle and black beauty seeds before I can re-sow. But I knew it was risky to plant summer squash so early.
Of course, the perennials have been growing for awhile; rhubarb and asparagus have been harvestable for weeks. Rhubarb bread and strawberry rhubarb pie have been added to my to-do list, and we’ve already enjoyed steamed asaragus in pesto tortellini salad.
Soon, there’ll be greenery everywhere and the process won’t seem so special.
But early in the season, it’s cause for celebration.
Even though I had to dance alone.