The wind tore at my scarf, my hair, my coat as I knelt near the mounded rows in the large garden. I tucked the seed packets deep into my pocket so they wouldn't be ripped from my hands or whirled up from the dirt and away. I smiled as I carefully tucked each seed into its new home, this rich dark earth. Year after year I expectantly repeat this ritual, hopeful for all the beauty and food this first labor will yield. I seem to forget that the fight for the yield is real; that I will be beset by pests, weeds, birds, my own forgetfulness to water, or my lack of time to plant successive crops. At the moment of planting there is nothing but barren soil, and wind. I will hold my breath for the next week awaiting the arrival of new life in these rows. Carrots to grow deep and vibrant and sweet, spinach that I will forget to pick before it bolts, crisp butter lettuce, white spicy radishes, crunchy peas: all is mere expectation for now.
Little fingers raked through the soft soil feeling for earthworms. Sisters knelt in the dirt with their heads together as if sharing the quiet secrets of the earth, examining what lies beneath as I turned over shovelfuls to make planting rows. They were proud of their courage to pick up the wriggly pink creatures and piled them together in the middle of the garden for a "worm party." I'm not sure what worms do when they get together, and I should have asked Lyddie because she was sure to have plenty of ideas.
Rosie came out, wearing her new pink windbreaker and pinker sleepy cheeks from a nap. She counted carefully as she pressed dried peas into the holes I formed for her. One...two...three... Mama, now what? Now, dear one, we cover them and pat them and we watch and wait.
She dashed about the yard, arms outstretched like wings against the fierce wind, exclaiming, "This is a wonderful day! This is a WONderful day!!"
I agreed. A wonderful day.