It's the very middle of April, and suddenly, my garden grows. Today, I dug, and planted, and dug, and planted some more. Jonathan and Everett stood in as my carpenters, making new garden boxes and a big, big sand box. (In case you're wondering, 6' x 6' x 6" makes a lovely size for a backyard sandbox, and is filled to the brim by a yard of 'dune' sand -- straight from the Oregon beach courtesy of my mom.)
It's a thrilling feeling, made more so by the garden's former state of dishabile and my own would-be disability. Belly a problem? Not here. No, I may have trouble standing still, but digging and kneeling and getting my hands deep in our rich Willamette Valley soil seems to come naturally.
Jonathan returns from Ft. Riley for the weekend and is wowed at my progress. "No offense," says he, "but you were kind of lazy before." What-ever! He forgets our previous springs, in which track coaching and struggling to stay solvent filled my every waking thought. He forgets that, until now, the huge scope of the project cowed even him. He forgets.
I remind him, and he has caught my fever. Late Saturday evening, we return from a family walk, having somehow picked up his brother along the way, and I am preparing dinner and wonder where he's gone. I peek out the back door and there he is, cutting blackberries. He wonders whether we can compost paper towels and cardboard food boxes (yes) and cheese (no, no dairy, meat or animal products).
I want to evangelize. I want everyone else to catch my fever, too. I remember how long I resisted composting because it was too hard, and shake my head at the hundreds of garbage bags I've filled with artichoke leaves and onion skins and coffee grounds. I long for it all back. I write a guide to easy composting in your backyard. I write everything I've planted in my little suede journal. I eagerly look forward to harvesting, I wish I'd purchased more local and more organic and more better plants and seeds. I fall in love with the dirt, with the little red clover and peas and swiss chard sprouting around everywhere. I stay up late deciding what I'll put between the boxes (bricks? gravel? crazy paving?) and where the picnic table will go. I dream of soup, and salad, and vegetable korma.