Planting Hope

Saturday, February 18th, 2017.
Nearly 70 degrees.
Again, I repeat: It’s February in Missouri.

The sun shines and the birds chirp. It’s February and we should be bundled in our winter sweaters, watching snow, and drinking hot chocolate. However, you’d think spring was just around the corner. Yet, it’s only February. Nevertheless, my mom, daugther, and I took the day to throw caution to the wind. Or to the sun rather. We bought a seed starter container, soil, and seeds. And then we got to work planting. We planted seeds of kale, spinach, and lettuce. The sun beckoned to us and we couldn't not plant the seeds.

My mom has always been a gardener and the winter seed catalogs always make her eager and giddy to get her hands dirty cultivating and planting. I’m still a novice gardener, but like her, I’m eager to see the growth of a garden again. Then there’s my two-year-old daughter who loves to be outside and who follows our gardening actions with her own “work” using her plastic gardening toys.

On this particular February day, we brought all our seeds, tools, soil, and container outside. The sun warming us and calling us to trust the light. The whole time my mom kept saying: “It really is too early, we’re probably crazy planting now, but I just can’t help myself.”

So we planted.
We poured soil in the containers.
We dropped seeds in each pot.
We labeled.
We watered.
And now we wait.

On February 18th we planted seeds for our garden.

While we planted, I couldn't’ get the the lyrics from Hamilton the Musical out of my head. As Hamilton has just been shot and is offering one final soliloquy he says:

“Legacy. What is a legacy?
It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see.”

Hamilton, as he lies dying, reflects on his legacy. He strove his whole life to make a difference, to leave a mark in the world. And now there is nothing left for him to do, except to trust the work he’s done thus far. As hope recedes, the seeds he planted bear significant fruit.

On February 18th, we planted seeds as hope in action. They may not come to anything. We may go back to winter weather. All may be lost. But, really, nothing will be lost. My daughter doesn’t know the difference in seasons yet for planting. She only saw us planting seeds. And the lessons of tending a garden. Of cultivating life. That’s my legacy. That’s my hope. And on some days it’s enough to look to the sun, trust in the light, and plant seeds.