Editor’s note: Springtime is here, and our attention turns to planting seedlings in the rich, warm earth. My good friend Jeff is a summer gardener. Yet it seems he has learned that seeds of hope can spring up, even in winter. Here is an email Jeff wrote to me in late November. (PS: Janice is his lovely wife.)
May seeds of hope spring up now for you and your family, in Jesus’ name!
November 30, 2019
When did you give Janice and me those jalapenos you had grown in your yard? Maybe a week later we were making soup or something and I filled a mug, an old Christmas gift, with potting soil and put some of the jalapeno seeds in a stripe across the middle. Then I planted lemon seeds around the outside edge. For weeks nothing happened. By then I thought nothing would happen.
Finally, a little green sprout came through the surface, kind of away from the edge. Weeks later, with two leaves on a spindly stem and a third leaf starting, Janice showed me a tiny little green thing poking through the surface of the dirt on the other side of the mug. It was closer to the edge, but still, I thought, “another jalapeno.” By now it has a couple of developing leaves, but they look kind of different from the leaves on the first plant. Now I’m wondering if it’s a tiny little lemon tree. And I’ve been obsessing over lemon and jalapeno seedling images on the Internet. Guess I’ll have to wait and see what they are, huh? Maybe you’ll get one of these from me to put in your garden in May?
We have a big terra cotta pot out front. I had absent-mindedly stuck a little plastic pot with soil and dead flowers on top of the dirt, in late spring—and forgot about it and what was in it. A few days ago I noticed something green poking up through the surface and thought, “Really? Can it be?” I put it under the awning roof over the front door so it wouldn’t get frosted. Two days ago Janice and I counted six more. Yesterday I brought the pot in, watered it, and sat it with the others. We now have daffodils on the dresser—in November!
You know, tomorrow the weather is s’pposed to be a mess. Me, I’ve been feeling “just after Thanksgiving and winter’s just around the corner.” Because it is. This morning I was checking over all the plants on the dresser and saw the mug and the little plastic pot next to each other, and I saw those little green plants growing and for a few seconds I felt spring…not the last day of November.
Later I was thinking, if little green plants on the dresser in front of the window on the last day of November can change my perception of what season it is, just like that, I can pick “joy, joy, joy” over “brood, brood, brood.” No matter what happens.