Growing Together in the Kawarthas

As I ski towards the back field this afternoon, the dogs playing nearby, the sun is turning itself into a giant, shimmering red ball lighting the whole western sky. We have just finished three days of snow, rain, freezing rain, ice pellets and a wind that can freeze your fingers right through woollen mitts. Today, though, the beauty of the rose coloured sky almost takes my breath away. It’s hard to believe that just fifteen minutes ago I was holding up my left hand to block the sun so I could see to drive home. But that’s what we do isn’t it. We build machines to move us around faster and easier and then we hold our hands in front of our eyes when the spectacle of nature gets in our way.

There’s nothing that we can ever build that will touch the grandeur of the sun strutting its stuff. The sun isn’t the only spectacular show that nature offers but it certainly is beyond the power of words to describe. That’s what makes this another tough piece to write. I’m back to talking about things for which words are inadequate.

A couple of days ago I attended a forum on local food. As the discussion progressed, I couldn’t help wondering why we continually make such poor choices. We build cities and roads over farm land. We drain away precious streams and wetlands to make subdivisions. We build machines to carry us quickly from building to building so we rarely find ourselves outside. Then we build other machines to entertain us while we live and eat inside. We package food often for delivery thousands of kilometers away and in doing so we rob it of its magic to link us to one another and to the earth. Yet at every moment nature continues to perform its miracles free of charge for anyone taking the time to notice. When rose coloured rays from the setting sun catch the ice on the branches this afternoon, our whole forest lights up in a gorgeous display. And at this moment in time, this display is all for me. I did nothing to deserve this gift, nor could I have created it had I tried. It is a true gift of magic.

The new life that sleeps in seeds, buds and roots is more of the same magic. This magic doesn’t rush from one place to another, nor does it turn away from the setting sun. Its moment of magic waits, as it has for all time, for the sun to call it to life in that miracle of rebirth that we call spring. What’s more, it’s all there for us. It was made for us to join and to enjoy.

And that’s exactly what I propose. Let’s enjoy it together. This coming spring join us while we grow together in the Kawarthas. Let’s fill our city with gardens of flowers and vegetables to serve our needs and pleasures. What I love about gardening is the magic. Seeds become flowers and vegetables right before our eyes while all we have to do is play in the dirt and enjoy one another’s company.

Tomorrow evening, that’s Wednesday, Dec. 12, come on over to The Health Unit at 7 P.M. to meet the rest of the gardeners. There’s lots of dirt to go around so don’t be nervous. And bring a friend. The time for planning will come in the new year. This is the time for dreaming a dream of spring. See you next time.

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