I planted my garden today. I’m actually a terrible gardener, and have always felt like a bit of a fake. Thankfully, plants are stubborn things, and resist even my ignorance and neglect.
Ivy (she’s four) was helping plant peas. She took her time to space them out in the shallow trench we had dug along the trellis fence. One pea at a time, out of the pink plastic cup she held in her hands. She thought we were done after we laid them in the dirt, still smiling up at the sun.
“We have to cover them up now.” I said.
“Why?” she asked, eyes wide. “Plants need sun!” This much she knows already.
“Plants need sun,” I said, “but seeds need dark.” I almost cried right there, smoothing the soil over the crooked row.
“Why?” A four year old’s curiosity is thirsty as a hot summer day.
I stop patting the ground and look up. The blue sky is silent. “Because life begins in the dark. I guess it needs to hide first.”
“Oh!” she says, and dances away, peas almost spilling out of that little pink cup. It is enough for her, at least for today.
In a tree overhead, an unseen robin breaks madly into song.
~ Lindsey Gallant