First Seeds

It’s April 6th.

I often use gardening as a metaphor when I think about how the mind works. I feel like ideas grow naturally, but they’re cultivated. Without cultivation, you may get something beautiful, but if you’re anywhere near a city, you’ll probably get a mess of weeds.

Writing and speaking is like gathering fruit and clippings from the garden.

So, that’s a lovely idea. But I only know it in an abstract way. So, I’ve decided to bring the metaphor down to Earth. I have too much theory and not enough practice.

I ordered coleus seeds in the mail a week ago. They haven’t shipped yet, so I impulsively picked up a small packet of them from a nursery. Why wait? The growing season is only so long. (And then you die.)

Partially hydrated peat-based seed starter disks

The fact that I’m starting with seeds feels especially important. I’ve never grown anything from a seed. I’ve never watched a plant grow from its very beginning. I think that by watching it sprout, and writing about it, then I’ll really care for it, and not just forget about it and let it wilt.

If I can learn to really care for one plant, then maybe I can really care for a whole garden someday. But right now, I feel like I’m not competent. I have a hardy pothos and a snake plant. I give them water whenever I happen to remember, which is enough to keep them happy. But their independence also makes them easy to forget.

A deeper relationship requires, by necessity, higher maintenance. (A new metaphor.)

Hardy Pothos