Wanted or Weed.
Today’s the one year anniversary of my mom’s passing. She planted seeds that will grow on and on.
I use to think it was my father who instilled my love for growing my own food and nurturing plants to make my home beautiful and welcoming. As I gathered salad greens last night with my daughter, who helped me plant them, I realized, however, it was my mother who had introduced me to gardening in just that same way I’d introduced it to my daughters.
As my mother had been a city girl all her life, I’m sure it was my dad, a farm boy, who encouraged her to put seeds into the soil to feed our ever growing family once they had found means to put money down on a farm. Though Dad made a country wife out of a city slicker, it was my mom who dragged me into the garden during those early springs of my life.
She taught me to read seed packages. Taught me to identify the vegetable plants I wanted, from weeds. She showed me the proper time and ripeness at which to gather the harvest. I learned to snap, peel, dice, blanch, freeze and can all kinds of garden goods.
Food or Fun
I’d like to say it was she who showed me how a days work could be fun, but I must give that credit to my brothers and sisters. Their ingenuity and clever tactics to keep me and my other siblings involved and helpful with the task at hand were pure genius. It taught me to be just as creative with my own children, when a few more sets of hands made a job that much lighter. They also left some indelible moments of joy and laughter deep within my heart and mind.
Thank goodness Mom was always there to rein us in with stern reminders that the berries we’d hurled, leaving lethal looking pock marks on our clothing, could have been better enjoyed on our cereal or simmered with sugar and spilled over a slice of fresh baked hot milk cake. She made us think about whether something was food, or fun.
Live for the Moment or Future?
I’ve learned it takes some planning to make sure there’s enough produce put away to enjoy for winter months ahead. Should we live for the moment or the future? While storing food is important, it’s just as important to savor the taste of something just plucked from the vine and still carrying the warmth of the sun.
In these days, fraught with worry over the devastation of the pandemic, it is pleasing to see people rediscovering gardening, playing backyard games with family and spending time being teacher to one’s children. Family has come front and center.
Friends and family inquire as to whether I am missing my mother. My whole being says that she is not gone.
Even as we suffer loss to this voracious virus, or at any other time, I believe those who have left their Earthly physical form continually perpetuate their being through each intricate experience once shared with lives they’ve touched. In others we continue to exist.
If you’re looking for books to help children understand the loss of a loved one there are some lovely books out there.