Thursday, April 2

Planting Time

Lack of punctuation aside, it was a good lunch.

I've been trying to wrap my mind around this one.  There' s something in there, I'm sure of it.   At the very least, I now have proof that they're hiding everywhere, those little people who are constantly reminding me to breathe deep and break free.  Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide--Check.

The one thing I know is that there's some been some message for me lately in apples.  Apples, and appleseeds, and maybe even that guy who traveled around planting them. 

Here is where I suddenly break out in song.  Something always brings it on, I can't help myself. In this case, it's a sung grace from camp days..."Oh, the Lord is good to me, and so I thank the Lord...(you fill in the rest)"

And here is where you fall over laughing at the visual of me singing that, let alone with unbridled enthusiasm and a 12-string guitar.

Okay.  (whew)  I'm back.  (and check out this website I found while looking for another's near where I live...go figure)

I have been thinking a lot about seeds recently.  I don't get out much, but I do know it's spring.

Every year, I get entranced by all of those seed packets in the stores.  Just the idea of so many potential flowers and plants all from a little envelope that costs less than a chai tea latte makes me all flustered.  So, yeah, I buy 'em.  Year after year.  Some years I plant them in those little magic trays where the little round discs puff up with water and pride and magically become little cylindrical planting lumps.  Some years I just look at them (the packages, not the plants). Some years, after I plant them in the little magical weebles, I watch them sprout with wonder and joy at the rebirth of spring...and then I let 'em die.  Not exactly on purpose, mostly because I don't know what the hell I'm doing, or I get busy and forget about 'em.  Or something.  

But you know, hope springs eternal (especially in spring) so every year, dead little weebles or not, I buy those damn packets again.  (Today, I even bought one for one of those giant pumpkins that win country fairs.  What am I thinkin' I'm gonna do with THAT?)  And I plant 'em again.  And I imagine that one of these years, I'm gonna figure it out.  And I'm gonna actually take that $2.99 and $2.99 and $2.99 and turn them into a yard full of flowers, a bed of tasty vegetables, a windowsill of fresh herbs.  You know, instead of killing them.  Just for a change of pace.

So, of course, I've done it again.  You've caught me midstream.  They're not dead yet (ohhh, I feel another Monty Python skit coming on).  They're on the windowsill.  They've all sprouted (well, except for the two that I apparently didn't plant anything in).  And today, I even bought a package of little peat pots, kinda the next size up, and planting mix, so that I could transplant the seedlings (why are "baby words" so cute?  piglets!  bunnies!  seedlings!) this weekend.  'Cause they're getting big.  Look!  

Don't ask me what they are.  It's effing amazing that they're alive, given my track record.  Let's let sleeping dogs lie, shall we?  (I think those skinny little ones on the right are herbs, though. Yum.)

So this weekend, Phoebe and I are going to transplant them.  Then, as I understand it, they grow a little bit more, then they slowly get used to being outside for a few hours at a time, and then they go into the ground.  Yeah, I know I'm getting way ahead of myself.  Disaster could still strike, like the great influenza epidemic (kinda).  Hey, intention is an important thing too, y'know.  It is.  

As brown a thumb and as shameful a history as I have, I am still aware that it's not apple season.  I know because I live in New England, and we pick apples and pumpkins at the same time, and that's not now.  Sure, it might be apple season somewhere else.  I don't know.  I'm working as hard as I can to just live in the moment, I can't be keeping track of the temperate zones.

So today I get this fortune.  Reach for the high apples first you can get the low ones anytime.  

Amen.  Just in time for my midlife crisis (well, the middle of it, anyway). I like it almost as much as the one I have in my little magnetic fortune cookie fortune frame on my refrigerator (no joke): "Some men dream of fortunes, others dream of cookies" Yeah, I actually got that in a fortune cookie.  

But back to seeds.  And midlife crises.  (notice that the aforementioned crisis has somehow spontaneously reproduced since the last paragraph and is now a plural).

When I'm feeling dejected about my career and the disparity between what I think I've earned (I'm not talking about money) and what I'm actually doing, I sometimes...well....okay, I sulk.  I sulk about the feeling that everyone else (hyperbole is part of sulking) has somehow "made it", even though I had their great idea before they did.  You know the feeling.  You suck at marketing, at self-promotion, at follow-through, and at motivation, and some creep goes on and steals your idea and actually does it and people love it.  Hate him for me, okay?  Or with me.  Whatever.

So earlier this week, I was kinda in that space, and I was takin' a little moral inventory, thinking about what are the traits that I value so highly that I would rather keep them than be successful, and I had a new thought (it occasionally happens).  It's a pretty adaptive idea, and it might be a rationalization, but it's new--and in the middle of a sulk at that-- so I'm just appreciating it, for all its seedling-ness.  

I was thinking that we're not all apple pickers.  We're not all apple shiners.  We're not all apple juice company magnates (I like Martinelli's in the little apple bottle, which I'm still disappointed is now  We're not all orchard tenders.  And we're for sure not all growers.  Some of us have to be planters.  If it weren't for planters, none of those other people would have a job, would they?  Hmm?  

So I was thinking, maybe that's my role.  Maybe I'm a planter.  Maybe the products and the glitz and the getting noticed and the stock options aren't in my DNA.  Maybe I'm one of the ones who travel California, to Hawaii, to North Dakota, to Boston, to wherever--I'm a wanderer.  I'm clear that I've always left something behind.  Friends, lovers, plans, ideas, resources, inventions, smiles.  People (okay, lawyers) have said to me "You gave them that?  You shouldn't have done that!" or "Don't tell anybody about that idea!".  But I already did.  And I do.  And I get it that that's not gonna make me the big bucks.  But I might just be a seed woman.  I'm thinking on it anyway.  

But then there's that damn fortune.  Reach for the high apples first.  I'm thinking on that, too.


alena said...

we sang the johnny appleseed grace at camp too. :) perhaps we need a remixed version for the 21st century, further celebrating the planters?

(and robin, i'm with you on the sulk. i fall prey to it sometimes as well, and i'm nowhere near midlife. must be a side product of wanderlusting genius. :) )

ConverseMomma said...

Oh, you are a planter. YOu are definitely a planter. Just remember that once you put a pumpkin in the ground and give it the room it needs to spread, it takes over the whole yard.

in case you were not sure, I meant that as a metaphor too.

Drop yourself into the ground and grow, my friend.