Look, look! These are my tomato starts! Aren’t they magnificent?
They’d be a lot more magnificent if it were April 9 instead of May 9. I got my seeds nice and early this year, and was all excited to plant them nice and early too. But I was too early, so I needed to wait a couple of weeks.
A couple of weeks arrived, but by then the pace of life had shifted, so it wasn’t quite as easy to plant as I’d hoped. Also the grow lights downstairs weren’t where they were supposed to be, and I’d have to look for them.
I did have some pressing things to do, but neither of these things would have been obstacles if I’d made the planting a priority. I just didn’t. I think it was easier to do the things I’m a bit more confident about than planting. It’s not natural to me yet – I’ve only been planting, a little here and there, for a couple of years. I’m still a newbie. Sometimes I even feel a little suspicious of the seeds. They require some work to plant, and how do I really know they’re going to grow?
I thought about this a week or so ago when I realized how late I was in starting my seedlings. Lush, big ones are available everywhere now, and we may well have to buy some this year. I decided to plant my own anyway, lateness and all: kale, chard, basil, coriander, and cucumber. I wanted to practice planting, to get more comfortable, to get my hands, as they say, dirty.
But also I wanted to practice a little humility, and try to do something even when I’m not very good at it or when my efforts aren’t going to be so successful. It’s something I want to learn to do more now that I have kids. If I’m going to nudge my boys to try new things, which often feel uncomfortable at first (and I do sometimes so nudge), then I want to be able to do the same myself. (Within reason.)
I may not get tomatoes until August. But I am discovering that seeds really do grow.