Josiah and I planted seeds today.
I had been planning this day since early last week, no – for eleven months actually… after getting a late start last year, and the year before that, and dare I admit, the year before that. But last year’s June planting was especially discouraging, save for the tomatoes and peas. So I’ve spent a good amount of time plotting and planning and promising that this year would be different. And with the arrival of an early spring, I anxiously anticipated the coveted collision of perfect weather and free time.
Today was that day and I was ready. With seed packets in hand, and garden tools waiting in the shed, I was moments, mere moments from stepping outside when the other adult in the house queried, “Mom, do you have any plans today?” A flinch and three words, “I’m planting seeds.” Spoken with enough intonation to hear the unspoken “and nothing’s going to stop me.” But then the mouth starts moving again, and words I don’t want to say escape. “Why, honey, is there something you need?” “I was wondering if you could watch Josiah this morning…” “Sure.” That’s what grandmas do. They say “Yes,” even if they have things to do, places to go, seeds to plant.
So with Josiah in tow, out to the garden I trudged. Seeds, gloves, trowels and all. My raised bed was as alluring as a sandbox to his little 2 year old eyes, and he wasted no time attacking my careful concoction of soil, peat, and compost, chucking spadefuls aside with glee. He grinned. I gasped. Remember, Susan, this is your grandson. The seeds don’t matter. The garden doesn’t matter. Your grandson matters. Deep breath. Happy voice. “C’mon Josiah, let’s plant some seeds.” I opted for the peas, because after all, if you’re going to teach a toddler to plant, you’d best give yourself a fighting chance. We found a stick (boys love sticks) and poked holes along the base of a chicken wire trellis. I dumped the seeds in the bowl of the shovel and showed Josiah how to – one at a time – pick up a seed and drop it in a hole. An easy task for you and I. But Josiah had to work to bring his thumb and forefinger together as if there were some magnetic force repelling them apart. Undeterred, he slowly, gingerly pinched seed after seed, carefully dropping them over dime-sized craters, and then pushing them down with his stick.
He mastered the task and I cheered him on, fist bumped him, made sure he knew how proud I was. For four seasons, I’d waited for this day, planting day, but now, sure enough, the garden no longer mattered, it’s yield – no longer important. I did have seeds to plant today, but they didn’t come in packets with promises of an early harvest. They were sowed in the fertile soil of my little grandson. Seeds of love, of encouragement, of togetherness, of comfort, seeds of all good things. Planted. Today.
In a mere six weeks, Josiah will be picking and snapping and joyfully devouring peas from the kernels he dropped in the ground this day. I will likely never see the crop from my planting, its yield far off in a future I will not know. But the promise exists none-the-less. The skin will crack, the roots will take hold, a stem will push its way above the surface, and with time and nurture, today’s work – I am certain – will one day bear fruit. And that confidence is enough for me.
And this night I will rest happy because Josiah and I planted seeds today.
Scatter thus your seeds of kindness. All enriching as you go – Leave them. Trust the Harvest Giver; He will make each seed to grow. -unknown