And the dimes are the things that he needs,
And I've been to buy them in seasons before
But have thought of them merely as seeds;
But it flashed through my mind as I took them this time,
"You purchased a miracle here for a dime."
- Edgar A. Guest, A Package of Seeds
My Dad loved to grow things.
He loved to plant and watch things grow from tiny seeds.
He planted a garden each and every spring. I walked behind him as he laid out the rows, always straight, amazingly straight. We planted sweet potato slips in the silky powdery loam in the garden beside my grandparent’s house one year. We worked nearly all day, preparing the soil and carefully placing the tender slips. I remember my toes were blackened with the soil of countless trips up and down those rows.
Not to mention the granny necklaces that were forming, ring after ring, on my neck. I was a kid and dirt did not matter much. Strangely enough, I still do not mind it. I would happily shuck my nice “work” high heeled shoes and nylons for an afternoon in the soft, cool , earth of a newly plowed garden.
My Dad passed that love on to me and I am so grateful.
I get this hankering to plant some seeds and start digging when the weather begins to turn warmer. The smell inside of my little greenhouse is like a tonic to me. I breathe deep, filling my lungs upon entering it. The smell of the earth is so satisfying to me.
Russ’ son, Chance, once got a Christmas present from his Dad that really wasn't what he wanted, but the gift was filled with love from his father. I was trying to explain that his Dad meant well with the gift, and I asked Chance , “Well, take me for instance, now what in the world would you give me, that you are absolutely sure I would want?”. Chance answered me without skipping a beat, “Why of course, I would get you some SEEDS!”
Out of the mouth of a babe….that realization struck me soundly.. He was so RIGHT! Seeds are perfect for me. Perfect for me and my Dad. Dad would pull up something interesting or find a nice plant at an abandoned house, left on a windowsill and to me, it would promptly come. Pieces of cactus’ or a cutting, whatever it was, it was welcome, and Dad knew that.
That is why the Maypops are so special to me. Maypops and the story that Dad taught me.
We would scour the ditches at our river cabin for those wonderful smelling flowers. Always bringing a smile to my Dad’s face, I would come clutching one in my small chubby fist. Holding it up for Daddy to see.
I planted my garden this spring, scaled back from the garden’s of yesteryear, but special to me, just the same.
George, My Dad in law, (my other Dad) loved to garden too, and we planted way too many tomato plants each and every year. But it was so much fun. Something we did together. Every year I would watch with anticipation , that first red, ripe, tomato and every year it would simply disappear one day while I was not looking.
George got it . And that was fine.. It still makes me smile to think of it. Grin. Tomato snitcher right in my own back yard. Grin.
I grow things out of love. Love that was instilled in me from the time I could walk.
That love was shown to me as I walked behind the plow, dropping the seeds into the soft earth, with tiny fingers, carefully counting out how many.
I can still hear Dad whistling as he went along the rows.
That love was shown to me as I watched my Dad take the fresh vegetables around to our neighbors , those unable to garden themselves. I watched, and I learned, and I grew.
I grow things, and as I grow things, I grow myself, just a little.
When I see that first, tiny, curled up, pale green, wisp
of a sprout poking up between a couple of grains of
soil , I hear God speaking.
He who plants a seed,
Beneath the sod;
And waits to see -
Believes in God.
- Author Unknown