Serving the High Plains

I love the feel of the dirt and possibilities

Spring fever is in full bloom at Head Acres, evidenced by tissue boxes, allergy meds and decongestants.

There are also dozens of little plantlets growing in cut-down toilet tissue holders, and peat cups scattered around the house.

They all look alike to me, but my husband Wayne can tell me what’s in each little set.

We’ve tried longer than not to get tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers of all kinds, and various other veggies to grow with fair to little success.

The other day, Wayne surprised me with an assortment of sunflower seeds, in beautiful shades and varieties. My favorite today is the dwarf teddy bear sunflower.

I think last year, we planted close to 1,000 sunflower seeds, none of which grew. The only sunflowers on the entire property were those gifted to us by the birds from our feeders. Given our track record, I don’t know if the new seeds will produce any more than the “older” seeds.

Gardening forces us to slow down. Sure, there’s the frenzy of hitting all the seed racks and the garden shops in the area and talks about needing a second job to afford the hobby. But the actual planting requires slowing down.

It takes time to figure out what ratio of dahlias will best fill the enormous tie-dye tractor tire out front. It takes time and quiet to determine flowers that prefer shade to the ones that need full-on sun. Or to figure out which plants are best for the bug garden, or what is best to attract pollinators to the butterfly houses.

Slowing down, sitting in the silence, is not only good for gardening but good for the soul. It’s good to take those breaks, to let the heaviness of the world fall away and to pick up the lightness wherever we can find it.

For me, I find it in clearing winter’s leftovers from the slumbering earth. There’s an excitement to everything waking up.

I love the feel of the dirt and possibilities, the fragrance of the earth as I work the soil. Maybe some seeds will grow while others won’t. But for me, the silence will help clear out the cobwebs and give space for new things and new opportunities to grow.

Patti Dobson writes about faith for The Eastern New Mexico News and Quay County Sun. Contact her at:

[email protected]

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