22 July 2010

Somewheres in this universe there’s a place that you can call home....

I love gardening.
And, somehow I forget over the winter how much I love it. I think that is a good thing, because I get to re-experience the joys every year. I learn something new each season, grow something different, try new ways. I do not have a large garden at all, but rather have my "flower" beds planted with yummy veggies. The eating part is scrumptious (tonight's dinner included homegrown carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes), not to mention the other obvious benefits of saving money and "eating local."
But I also love how gardening is such common ground amongst folks. It makes for such pleasant conversation. You can ask anyone who has even one tomato plant about it in the summer, and their eyes light up. Gardening conversation spans political affiliations, nationalities, income level, religious views, and age. It is a great common denominator. I can ask anyone about what they are growing and learn something or just bask in their description of something they have grown to love and to know as if in a deep intimate relationship.
I also get a kick out of the sharing part of gardening. In my neighborhood, we hand cucumbers over fences, leave squash and peppers on each other's doors, and water when we go out of town. There is a elderly Laotian couple that baby their garden with umbrellas and constant tending and grow beans that I have never seen before and peppers that make you sweat when you look at them. The lady speaks no English, but we've swapped veggies, and she'll gladly take our grass clippings if she sees us out. The above grapes were dangling in our yard from another neighbor and he invited us to pick as many as we can handle. What comraderie amongst neighbors!
I also get so excited to grow something new. Here is my first watermelon. Isn't it precious? We only have the one, but the vine that we grew from seed, transplanted, loved on, watered, talked to, babied, has sprouted and has several flowers. I have found great recipes that involve the mint (harvested today and drying) and watermelon together. Yum!
And, lastly, I stand in awe that things grow that we can eat and that this binds us a human race. I can't wait to make pickles and salsa, and ask you about your garden, and hand you a tomato. I am grateful that even if you have been a gardener for decades, you can appreciate my oohs and aahs for my first watermelon and tiny carrots.
All pictures and thoughts captured today from the garden.

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