Sunday, May 10, 2015

Mother's Day and Gardening

The Dynamic Duo. My grandma (left) and her sister, G.G.
Mother’s Day. When I think of today, many images race into my brain. Memories of growing up with my siblings; conversations with my mom; the first time I held Luke, and then, Liam. Mother’s Day fills me with joy. It also reminds me of the family members I have lost. I think of them and love seems to fill every part of me. My grandmothers, my great-aunt, and so many more. But when I hear anyone mention Mother’s Day each year, one specific conversation always comes to mind.

In the spring of 2000, Chris and I were extremely blessed to move into my grandparents’ farmhouse. My dad and my uncle had grown up there. My granddad had passed away in 1990, and my grandma had elected to move a farm over to stay with her sister and brother-in-law for company. She had kept her home, went there most days, but really didn’t stay there at night. She had offered to us that we could live there, rent free, for a year so that we could save up money for a home of our own. We quickly agreed.

Moving to the farm I decided I needed to do what people living on farms do, grow something. I asked my grandma if she would mind if I had a small garden. She knew a guy, she said, and he’d till up a small spot for me.

I still remember pulling in the drive to meet her, looking at the garage-size garden that she had created, and feeling more than a bit of trepidation of how I was going to possibly manage such a big space.
My garden
As she walked me around the garden, pointing out where the most sun would hit, she looked up at me, over the rim of her large red glasses, and said, “And you may not plant before Mother’s Day. People will always get in a hurry, rush to plant. There will always be a frost. Do not plant before Mother’s Day.” And that was that. Her proclamation, and I would follow it forever more.

Each year I watch in April as the flowers come out at our grocery store, window boxes filling up, gardens beginning, but I cannot do anything. For it isn’t Mother’s Day yet. And while I lost my grandma some time ago, I would feel her standing over me shaking her head in dismay if I dared to put anything in the ground before today. I miss her so, but feel love around me every time I think of her.

Happy Mother’s Day to you all. Planting season may begin.