by Cynthia


Everything has a beginning. Most things begin as a tiny something, hidden away, usually in the dark. An traveling egg encounters a rushing spermatozoa, a pea is buried beneath the soil, an idea is formed deep inside the brain late at night while its thinker lies, sleepless.

Things sprout. The pea sprouts a root that reaches down into the soil for water and leaves that reach up to the sun for energy. The embryo sprouts little buds of legs and arms. An idea sprouts into a thought, the thought into an intention, the intention into action.

Planting, tending, watching and nurturing are my jobs. As a psychotherapist, my job is to witness and nurture people’s emotional and relational growth. As a mother and grandmother, my job is to support, encourage and guide, but mostly to love fiercely and without waiver. As a gardener, my job is to plant, nurture and harvest in a way that is respectful of the soil, the plant, and the planet.

This quotation from Hal Borland cheers me as Christmastime ebbs away and the two dreary months of January and February loom unpleasantly on the horizon;

“There are two seasonal diversions that can ease the bite of any winter. One is the January thaw. The other is the seed catalogues.”

They began arriving on Monday. Burpee, Territorial, The Cook’s Garden, Johnny’s.  And there will be more. I take them to bed with a cup of hot tea and turn up the electric blanket, dreaming, imagining, planning for spring, wishing away the winter. I’d like to enjoy the winter more and perhaps if we had sunshine, or snow, and especially if we had sunshine and snow at the same time, I might. But here in Tennessee, winter is mostly dreary, or wet, and often dreary and wet concurrently.

So I dream of thing sprouting. I buy seeds, and fire up the grow lights, and make my plans. In a way, it is what we all do each morning. We fire up the grow lights and plan our day. Something is always sprouting, if not in the garden, at least in our imaginations. Especially in winter.


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