I know, I know. It's a long way to sauerkraut. But this tiny cabbage sprout -- the first greenhouse seedling of the season -- is a promissory note we anticipate will come due with interest. And here, in the wet and chilly trailing days of winter it is enough enough to ignite anticipation. Other soil blocks are sown and settled in the greenhouse beneath low hanging lights on shelves laced with warming cables - 10 trays, so far, with 50 blocks in each, with more to come over the next few weeks. Tomatoes and peppers of miscellaneous kinds, plus herbs and this early rising cabbage. Bed prep will follow, and soil prep, and eventually transplanting and more sowing.
These days, however, the small watering can is our frequent companion -- morning and evening -- sprinkling seeds and anticipatory salivation.
The days are longer now, and still stretching; Daylight Savings Time has pushed the brightness later into the evening, leaving mornings a more leisurely start. There are green shoots thumbing up in the flower beds, and buds bulging on the shrubs and trees. Of course we are worried that these milder days have enticed the new life prematurely, leaving them prey to some latent frost before the season has conclusively receded. But that's out of our hands. Outside, the weather will be what it will be and nature will take its course.
And we will abide by the consequences.
Inside we can exert a little more influence -- adjusting the lighting and managing the temperature and keeping the watering can full; whispering encouraging words. But I recognize that any sense of “control” is even here an illusion. Life and growth are yet miracle and mystery. I can nudge and exert some influence, but their ultimate efficacy is well above my pay grade.
Which is to say that I don't take this tiny cabbage sprout peeking through the potting soil for granted. It is a gift, an anticipation, and from this point forward a compelling and visible responsibility. It will depend upon my attentions and ministrations. But above all, it is a joyful wonder.
Here, would you care for another drink of water?