It's the night before the inauguration, and I am looking at online plant catalogs. I've been soothed by the tabs open in my browser for this past week.
And yes, I have needed soothing. I still do. I find it in the willows in two gallon pots, the promise of "no bare roots," and the dizzying number of choices, all of which are right.
I am thinking about phlox, poppies, a pair of pecan trees, and gardening as resistance. It's not so far-fetched. To plant a seed is to begin an experiment in radical hope. The changing of the seasons reminds me that change comes inevitably; light turns to dark, warmth turns to cold, but always come back again. We fail, we succeed, and each year brings a new opportunity to do one, or both.
Remember that there are 2,000 year old trees.
In 1944, food grown by everyday people in Victory Gardens accounted for more than 40% of all vegetables grown in the United States.
But utility is not required. Spreading beauty is enough. Allowing beauty is enough.
So grow. Grow toward the light. Plant the beans named for Robin Hood, or the rose named for Marie Curie. Be personally responsible for 40% of the kindness in your neighborhood. Grow something from seed; it will prove to you that things can, improbably, hatch in darkness and damp. Look to plants some call invasive for lessons in resilience.
And compost: take scraps, things that no longer serve you, and with patience and warmth, let them turn themselves into a lovely nourishment for your garden, and if you're growing food, nourishment for yourself.
And remember these words of Anne Lamott's: "Hope begins in the dark."