We have a couple of small veggie patches in our garden. Maybe, when the garden was planned and the trees were smaller, they were in the perfect place. Now, they are rather shady, and need just the right weather for things to thrive. Leaves will grow, though, and sometimes surprisingly.
There are often some seeds left over by the end of the season, and sometimes, I feel inclined to plant anyway. Maybe, with a mild winter, and some protection, they’ll get a head start in the spring, before the trees are in full leaf. As I was planting, I thought about all the times when it can feel too late, hopeless. When we can feel too old to start something, or as if we have blown our chances. Whatever it was we dreamed of, it can seem like there isn’t enough warmth for our dreams to grow. It can feel like planting in November with chilly fingers.
I love the defiance of November sowing. What is wasted by taking a chance, anyway? A few leftover seeds… and who knows? Come the spring, my veggie patch may be full of little green plants. I may have good things to eat, and to share.
It is not too late!
I planted seeds today, scraping my fingernail
into the corners of old packets:
cavolo nero, romanesco, mizuna –
such names – exotic, full leaved, sharp.
I sowed them where I sowed before,
under tall trees thick and damp with falling leaves,
remembering how spring was baked dry,
and summer was pitted with rain, lightless.
But now, today, this low slanting sun is warm.
Now, in this out of season sowing
with leftover seed, I am surprised
to find myself hopeful, joyful
even, at this extravagant gesture.
I know full well that they may never grow,
But maybe, just maybe they will.
Each day is a day for sowing,
it is not too late.
From Prayers and Verses
Help me to be patient as I wait for your kingdom
and your righteousness:
as patient as a farmer who trusts that the rains
will come in their season,
and that the land will produce its harvest.
Keep my hopes high.
Help me to pray to you and to praise you.