I’ve got thick, rich country blood that travels through this farmer’s daughter’s veins. It enriches the chambers of my brain with clarity of thought where my values were borne. It nourishes my lungs with just the thought of breathing fresh country air, perfumed with the scent of moist dark soil. It melts this Illinois bred heart with memories of green tractors, richly plowed earth, freshly mowed grass, and various stages of crops in their journey from seed to silo.
You can see from one of the photos on my site that I love the new life of a crop. I can remember, as a young girl, going around to the fields with my dad to check on the planted seeds. Being the tomboy that I was, I was “at home” just playing in the dirt and walking the fields with him. But, I can remember him still, bending down and taking his pocket knife and scraping off the top layer over the seed to see where the plant was in its growth – if the new life had sprouted yet. A successful planting. A confirmation that his livelihood was on the living path for another season – watching the softness in his eyes as he found the new green leaf seeking its way reaching towards the sun. Those moments with him as a farmer seeped into my soul, in that treasured place that I talk about alot. That place that just begs to be remembered and set free at different stages in my life.
There’s that desire in all of us to see green. To watch, with amazement and anticipation, each season with our plants, our trees, our gardens, and anything that depends on soil, water, and sun to grow. I love planting the seeds and tending to their nourishment – creating the environment for them to thrive, grow, and eventually be brought to our table, glorified in the beauty of flowers or delighted as a savory taste for our meals. The pleasure that I get starting plants is surprisingly so rewarding – as if my soul seeks solace in watching a seedling sprout and peek it’s head above the dirt, breaking free to find the air, sun, and unlimited space to do its thing. Flowers. Vegetables. Trees. The living green earth. It’s such a beautiful thing that we all do take so much for granted.
This love of plants and foliage surely comes from my country upbringing, my country blood. The essence of our being and the foundation of our values, likes, desires, and attitude comes from the culmination of where we’ve been, what we’ve done, and how everything up until this point has influenced who we are. My days spent growing up as a child of the country still possess me, at times – a strong yearning for those plowed fields, smells, and simple pleasures outside our front door. We did take it so for granted….
I realize more, as I grow older, why farmers love what they do. Most, like my dad, followed in their father’s footsteps and the livelihood went from generation to generation. Treasured farmland and homesteads were passed from father to son and the same land and sometimes even the same homes once felt the footsteps of ancestors long ago. Farmers who toiled with long hours, unpredictable weather, cost of seed, equipment repairs, market prices, and lives that always revolved around “being in the field”, getting those crops from seed to silo. A farmer’s life is not easy and is probably unappreciated by most. But not by me. It’s a way of life and cherished in my country blood.
This year, I’m now finding the time to garden, I have pulled those memories out of their dusty corner and am attempting some planting of my own. I remind myself of my dad as I pour through the Burpee seed catalog, looking for just the right kind of plants that will thrive in the Arizona sun. I’m making a calendar of what to plant when and am watching with great joy as the seeds pop their green heads through the soil. I yearn to have the ability to plant, nurture, and produce all kinds of edible plants and colorful bouquets that have developed from one simple seed. It’s a miniature piece of my father’s mind as I watch these plants on their journey. He unknowingly “planted” a memory in my mind that day when I was in the field with him while he was searching for that sprouted seed. He taught me the delight and joy of truly caring for the earth and the gifts it can give you.
It’s these kind of memories that can be rekindled and reproduced in your own life, today. Remembering your younger days – something you did with your parents, something that makes you smile in remembrance, something that stimulates your searching soul. It may be as simple as planting a seed and watching it grow. Or making the bread that your mother made. Or visiting a place that you saw through the eyes of a child. Search inside yourself, find that corner where you placed it long ago. Drag it out, dust it off, and open up that gift of a memory and make it today’s gift to yourself. It’s right there, inside of you, just waiting to bring you another Moonflower Bloom moment.