December 12, 2018
My first attempt at gardening was trying to grow plants in a terrarium. I had caught two toads and wanted to keep them as pets. I got some small potted plants, rocks, sticks and sand and created a mini jungle. My garden today is like an overgrown terrarium. It's home to frogs, snakes, lizards, mice, and birds. It's teaming with insects during the warmer months, but a bit still now.
The cycle of life is represented in the various stages of plant life, which may be why I'm loathe to remove the dead stalks. The grays and tans abound this time of year, and keep getting my focus. Although they are symbolic of death, they represent change, which is as true as time. We old ones need to come to grips with our mortality. I prefer to believe that learning to be still in this life, which has its own rewards, can lead to peacefulness in the next.
December 13, 2018
The fall planted Brussels sprouts never got over a foot tall, so I've left them in the ground to overwinter. Their poor performance is just one of a number of mysteries in the garden this year. I guess if everything always went as expected there would be less adventure and discovery. I always want to be moved by the unexpected sights and sounds, maybe that's why I like the birds so much. When I'm sitting still in the garden and a sparrow lands near, I almost hold my breath so it will stay awhile. I marvel at it's markings, colors, and contrasts, and recognize it as just as glorious as an eagle, only smaller.
It perceives the environment exactly as we do with it's senses of eyes, and ears. It feels, digests, moves, decides, mates and plays. Something about this is a bit frightening because we have more in common than our differences. When I learned that elephants mourned their dead I began to change my understanding of the entire animal kingdom.
December 14, 2018
The spinach started growing again. I was getting ready to pull it up but now I'll start harvesting it instead. Crazy huh? It's the middle of December. The cauliflower are beginning to grow and the weeds are exploding. I guess we've been having a warm winter so far, but it's hard for me to believe that a few degrees higher temperatures can cause such radical plant changes.
My son is still harvesting lettuce. The outer leaves got burned but the inner ones are sweet and tender. The Kohlrabi have perked up, lifting their leaves off the ground, and the artichokes are stretching toward the sky. Kale and Chard are ready to pick again but the January freezes are ahead so I'm prepared to have a second winter.