Saturday, March 12, 2011

Seed Planting

Today is the day to start my seeds. It is 10 degrees and the wind is howling, but spring is predicted to begin with temps in the 50s by mid-week. I imagine in the time before climatologists, people just had to go by the Almanac or habit, ignoring the weather outside and believing spring would come soon.

I've never had much luck starting tomatoes inside, but this year my friend Connie is starting my tomatoes and I'm starting her peppers. I've been reading my seed packets carefully to see what can be planted "as soon as the soil can be worked." I did buy some plastic tarp tunnels to use for early warming of seedlings when I put them outdoors, mostly hoping to protect some from the winds we get out here.

Yesterday, Steve and I took his daughter to the airport for her spring break and then we went to IKEA for a light fixture for the kitchen (which is almost, nearly, not-quite completed) and dinner at the French Meadow Bakery and Cafe. I had black barley risotto with roasted winter vegetables that was wonderful-- exactly the kind of food I want to make from my harvest. We drove back first through rain, then driving snow. We both agreed it was the absolute ugliest time of year-- what snow remained was black with soot and mud, and all that was exposed was dead, dirt patches. You don't notice the fields and woods and prairie and lake; you just feel "highway." Going at 50 miles per hour, you realize how far from even the outer edge of the Twin Cities we are.

It's been a long time since my last entry, and I'm conscious of that. Everything this time of year feels worn and old and we're all just waiting for spring. We're still watching movies at night, but it feels like that's all we do, and so not worth commentary. We don't have much to say to each other, and it feels like the world is just cold and waiting for something.

Ash Wednesday, very late this year, on March 9, was one sign of promise. We now enter The Church's springtime. And as we enter, it's a season of hard boiled eggs and tuna melts, of austerity and focus on God. Next weekend I'm taking an introductory workshop in Centering Prayer, something that has long interested me. I've always enjoyed contemplative prayer, and would like to develop this practice, possibly attending weekend retreats in the future.

Entering spring, at least this far north, is a matter of small acts: putting seeds in little plastic cups with some water and peat, and looking forward.

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