They poke up their heads like so many groundhogs all in a row. They cast eyes about. They see, they feel, neither winter nor spring. Instead, coaxed by the faux-sun of the silver halide lights overhead, they hang up their seed coat testae, look back once at the safety of the darkened, peaty house, and boldly step outside. Into the warmth. Into the light. Presently, all 3,000 or so of them. Ground hogs cum Lancelot leeks, white onions, Red Russian kale, butter lettuce, artichokes and – why not? – lupine flowers as nitrogen fixers. The forerunners. The early risers. The bold.
As I write this, Old Man Winter is aged, but does not yet die. A forecast of snow this week, and we the sentient beings, we who, like seeds and all things living, long for and reach up to the light, may possibly let out a soulful sigh. Or, if you are anything like me, perhaps a weary snarl.
But those legions of seedlings now sunning themselves in the propagation room are my reminder: the light will always prevail. Every single year. For ages upon ages. So, whether it be a month on this or that side of eternity, well then, no matter. We bundle up a little longer, embrace this very moment of time, the wonder of a lingering stillness, the crystal of ice shining, while we also sense at once the “always-ness” of that prevailing light.
Friends near and far, what joy to welcome the beginning of this new season of tender growth, of growing ‘to-do’ lists, of rich possibilities, of muddy shoes and chapped fingers, of the miracle of food rising from the Earth, of friendships renewed, of oversized dreams rewarded, and of each of us reaching up to touch a sunbeam.