I used to visit and revisit it a dozen times a day, and stand in deep contemplation over my vegetable progeny with a love that nobody could share or conceive of who had never taken part in the process of creation. It was one of the most bewitching sights in the world to observe a hill of beans thrusting aside the soil, or a rose of early peas just peeping forth sufficiently to trace a line of delicate green.
~Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mosses from an Old Manse
When my daughter sees me head out to the front gardens, she says she knows one of three things: I’m planting, I’m harvesting, or I’m looking. I asked her one day what “looking” meant. She said, “Well, that’s what you do. You just stand there and look.”
There is something delightful and fulfilling about surveying the plants and food right outside my front door, something quite relaxing and meaningful. Nothing will slow you down like observing a snail creep along a fence to reach a squash blossom or shelling black eyed peas to dry for soup mix. Plus, there’s a bit of comfort in knowing that my hands created this space and place–that I am the creator of this landscape.
I have watered these gardens with warm tears of sadness. The plants have quietly listened to my unsettled frustrations. I have giggled with the birds and prayed with the falling leaves. And with each day spent tending to the soil, my body has soaked up sun and rain, joy and patience. My life is here.
So to stand out in my yard and look at all that grows before feels like I am staring at my reflection in my bathroom mirror. This farm represents my life’s journey–what I value, who I have become, and the legacy I want to leave.