Soil and water and sun

Three packets of seeds have been shoved at the back of my “everything” drawer for at least four years. Organic beets and peas and wildflowers. Planting is the easy part. Tending takes too much effort.

It was originally meant as an activity for me and my little girls. Start the seeds inside old salad containers and toilet paper rolls. Water them. Watch them grow. Move them outside.

But our plants never made it past the sunporch. They were neglected and so they wilted back into the dirt.

I tucked the unplanted seeds safely in the back of that drawer in the kitchen. They’re in there with the barbeque skewers, toothpicks, the glue gun and some golf balls—favors from my brother’s wedding. (The golf balls, not the glue gun.)

The summers went by and the seeds stayed in the drawer. I would find one rolling around now and then. I would pick it up and wonder what it was for a moment. Because beet seeds look strange.

This year I bought more seeds. I’d forgotten about the ones I already had. I bought herb seeds, and a garden vegetable pack. And yes. More peas.

The kids are older now. They helped me dump the soil in pots. They added the seed starting mix by themselves. They put the seeds in the earth with their little fingers and covered them with soil and we watered them together. We all came inside with dirt under our nails and hopes of tomatoes.

We put our pots in the sun.

Two days later, when we checked, we saw that delicate green tendrils had forced themselves up out of the dirt.

I wish I had time to sit and watch the changes. The plants spring up so fast! Their sole purpose is to grow. And so that is what they do.

Soon, they will be food. We will harvest the mature plants, and they will nourish our bodies.

But I can’t help but think now about those seeds scattered at the back of the drawer.

Dormant potential in every one.

The same potential that was inside those that are growing now. The only difference that those in the drawer with the glue gun and the golf balls were never given what they need to grow into what they were destined to become.

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