Gardens are forgiving. Seeds tend to grow, plants tend to thrive, gardens tend to produce. I didn’t know I could be a gardener. In fact, I thought I wasn’t a gardener because when I was growing up, I absolutely refused to help my mom pull weeds. I thought it was my disposition, and maybe it was, but the older I get, the more I enjoy planting a seed and helping it grow.
The Talmud says: Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over and whispers, “Grow, grow.” I laughed out loud when I read it because this year, I planted my onion seeds really early, and they didn’t sprout for weeks. Every few days I’d walk out to the raised bed and kick the side, “Wake up,” I said. “Wake up and grow.”
By May, I still didn’t see any sprouts, so I planted five cucumbers in the middle of the box, which quickly took over, crawling over their supports, entwining in my shallots, roiling like a frothy green wave over the sad section of refuse-to-grow red onion seeds.
It wasn’t until the cucumbers were scraggly and almost done that I realized my seeds had worked. They’d grown, and grown big. I’d lost faith too soon, but I hadn’t yet read that quote, so next year I’ll remember that the onions have angels even when the gardener is ready to give up.