The old folks always say to wait until after Easter to plant your garden, that's when the ground is warm enough to ensure that you won't lose any of your plants to frost or hail or whatever other weird spring weather might occur. Since Easter was so late this year, I had to seriously fight the urge to ignore this old superstition and start planting sooner, my hands just itching to dig in the dirt. But the voices of my grandparents kept sneaking into my thoughts, reinforcing that age old tradition, and so I waited.
On the Monday after Easter, we started planting with a vengeance: fruit, vegetables, herbs, and mosquito repelling plants. We spent the whole week digging and tilling and putting seeds and plants into the ground, making more trips to the nursery and Home Depot than I can even count. I love this time of year for its late sunsets and perfectly warm weather. I love looking around after a hard day's work and seeing pretty green things everywhere. I love seeing my kids so happy and free, dirt on their faces and bare feet running through the yard. They are becoming excellent little gardeners and are so helpful around the yard. Baby River is content sitting in his playard, watching us work like busy bees. He takes it all in with his curious eyes: the colors of the leaves all blooming so green, the sounds of the birds nesting up above. I'm thankful that "the witching hour" so perfectly coincides with watering time: nothing calms a teething baby down like a walk outside to water the plants.
I've made a conscious effort to plant more flowers this year. I am such a practical and efficient person: everything has a purpose, fulfills a need, especially in my garden. But this year, I've made a promise to myself to literally stop and smell the roses. Because, sometimes, the only purpose that something needs to have is to just be joyful, to be so vibrant and beautiful that it brings you happiness when you are around it. So, more flowers. Namely hibiscus, marigolds, zinnias, begonias, and a bunch of other pretty flowery things that I know nothing about but hope to keep alive and thriving.
The girls were so excited this afternoon when they went onto the front porch and realized that their first orange daisy had bloomed. They picked out daisies specifically because they saw pictures of them in their favorite book. They dug a little hole, just big enough, like I have showed them every spring before this one. They filled the hole with fresh rain water, placed their daisy plant inside, and then packed it down with dirt. And then more watering, and even a special prayer. They did it all by themselves, two little country girls learning about the earth and how things grow. And then one morning, there they were, two little orange daisies, one on each side of our front door. They were as excited about those flowers as they were on Christmas morning. And seeing them so happy about something so simple: it made me happy.
Because this is where I am now: not just surviving, but really living. Surrounding myself with beautiful things and learning a couple of lessons along the way. This house and the land we call our own: it is our little oasis, the place where we find peace and comfort. When you can find a place that you love enough to call home, and you do so with the people you love most in it, that is a good place to be.