Wednesday, June 08, 2011
You gotta go where you wanna go
Working on the garden today, I decided that the next logical step is buying seedlings. I’ve been frustrated by its lack of progress, and it’s mainly because I missed the entire month of May, a month that would have been spent sprouting things. I didn’t anticipate my grandparents dying, a extended trip to Michigan. I’m now a month behind.
So we drove to a local greenhouse and bought $60 of seedlings—twenty six-packs and 120+ plants. A lot of money for me, but I spend probably half of that a week on produce at the grocery store. Fresh vegetables are a high priority.
This afternoon K. planted half of the new seedlings in the garden. This evening, severe thunderstorms swept through Aroostook County, bringing with them silver-dollar sized hail and a single tornado sighting. Fantastic. I’m hoping ce n’est pas grave, as they say in France and New Brunswick, that it’s not grave, that the winds and rain will toughen up the tomatoes and peppers and force them to take root in their new home.
I haven’t heard hail, but it continues to rain. The thunder makes Shadow pant in fear. It’s so frustrating, so nerve-wracking. I’m beginning to understand so much that I never did before, about the nature of farming—how it’s a process of constant existential faith. Crops are forever at the mercy of environmental forces. So much, everything, depends on the weather.
All of the progress that we’ve made in our modern era has been to eliminate that dependence, to erase it entirely. We can buy peaches at the grocery store no matter the season, enjoy sushi in restaurants no matter the tide, go tanning whether the sun shines or the rain falls. It’s so much more than that, though. It’s that the weather has absolutely no moral relevance to us. Unless a hurricane or blizzard hits, outside affects us not at all.
Here I sit, at the edge of the wilderness, clinging to the forecast by my fingernails. If there’s one thing I desire, it’s that constant existential crisis, that doubt and fear and hope and faith that mean I’m really living. If I can get that from hail and some cabbage plants, then I’m doing something right.