The garden isn’t only about eating homegrown food.
It is – literally – nine months out of each year of my entire life (save a few squandered college years when I lived deep among the concrete trolls near Hayward Field with nary a patch of dirt to stick a spoon into, let alone a spade).
It evokes memories of my father standing in dusty black rubber boots with the red rims, leaning into a shovel, and his bent straw hat tilted back from his sweaty pink face as he diligently turned the soil in early February.
It is waking to the “chiichiichii” of sprinklers on summer mornings and the promise of having a colander pressed into my hands to “go pick something for dinner.”
It brings back flashes of my mother, ever the dedicated multitasker, crouched among the thick September vines to pick tomatoes with one hand while deftly pulling weeds with the other.
It helps me recall months and years of dinners where my siblings and I learned to be thankful for food so fresh we could almost taste the sunshine and love that brought it to the table…
And it is the strange prayer of gratitude that I say now – first, when I sit on springtime’s wet mound and watch fat worms in the surprise of light as we till new soil. And then later in August, when I carry that same deep dirt inside the kitchen on my muddy bare heels – after going to the garden in the cool of morning to find a new gift.