I promised myself I wouldn’t plant anything this spring. So, what happened? The only explanation is that I got bewitched. Because who would want to plant something after spending a good portion of the fall fighting snails, mending calloused hands and aching back only to not actually be home to harvest most of the produce?! Yes, we ate some beautiful broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, but were they worth it? Sure they were, you’d say. And I would agree. But I still wasn’t going to plant anything this spring.
The garden needed to be straightened up though as it has become a tad overgrown, to say the least. Not to mention the harsh, island soil that turned into rock because that’s how this soil is; it really hardens up on you if you don’t tend it. A chore. And here my family and I were, pulling two feet tall weeds and cabbage infested with hundreds of snails, spading and raking in the garden. The sun shone. We stripped to our T-shirts. A freshly turned garden emerged catching my eye every time I went by. Gosh, freshly turned soil does look inviting. If I were a seed, I’d want to lie myself in it and wait to be tickled by the sun’s rays and nourished by the rain and the red soil I reside in. It would be sort of nice to plant something, went through my head. No! You can call to me as much as you won’t, but I will resist.
At the same time, a potato planting fever has enthralled the village. Everywhere I looked, people were working the land, preparing the soil and planting potatoes. I’d love to learn how to do this, I thought out of the blue. Next thing I knew, relatives called us to come along and help with their potato planting. Riding our bikes, feeling spring in the air, we arrived to the nicely set up patch of land. Freshly dug out rows stared at us invitingly. Into them potatoes needed to be placed, one by one, each with a fragile shoot pointing upwards, at half a foot distance then covered gently to avoid accidentally tearing off the shoots. Row by row, potatoes went into the ground. We worked entranced.
After some time, a relative called out from behind a rusty, once green trailer where empty crates and much else was stashed,
“Where are the rest of the potatoes?”
We shrugged. We don’t know. How would we know?
“How much did we get?” he called to his wife.
“I don’t know. I never remember how much we got last time and if we need to get more or less this time.”
“But I thought we got six crates, 30 kg?”
“Yes, I thought so too.”
“Well, they are not here.”
“Maybe it was 25 kg?”
“I don’t think so.”
“Never mind now. We spread them apart some more, plant the last two rows and call it done.”
“It would be too bad to get home and find out that there was one more crate.”
A shake of a head. A creased forehead.
I guess I did the only thing possible. I blurted out,
“If you find it, we’ll plant the potatoes in our garden. That’ll save you from coming back out here.”
Oops! It was out. Maybe they did get 25 kg and I would be off the hook, I thought to soothe myself. Alas, the bewitching forces were at work. As soon as we got home, the phone rang.
“We have the sixth crate. Come get it.”
So before I knew, we were digging rows in our own garden, planting potatoes and I became so mesmerized by the whole thing that I said,
“Wow, I can really see us living here.”
My husband smiled, “we do live here.”
“Let’s plant something else!” I said.
“Carrots!” my son exclaimed.
“Carrots, yes! What else?”
And so it went. Didn’t I say I wouldn’t plant anything? I heard from somewhere in my mind. Oh, shut up, nobody cares. There are higher forces at work here.
So all in all, that was great fun, I have to admit. And now it’s time to prepare for Snail Wars II. I am off to make beer traps. And while I wait for snails to strike, I will marvel at a garden under whose cover a miracle of life is happening.