As New Year’s Day came to a close, my mind wandered once again to the pile of seeds still that remained out of sight and I started thinking of prosperity in a different light. I had sown seeds each year until now. I honored Remembrance, an ode to dear loved ones that have left this world. I honored Life, sowing seeds that would give food and shelter to the critters I share my garden with. I honored Mother Nature by growing trees that help clean the air and reduce excess sun to the soil. And I honored Faith, taking the “Leap of Faith” by entrusting Mother Nature with seeds that normally aren’t hardy where I live, all the while truly believing that she is capable of miracles. The Leap of Faith, it was like a neon sign flashing in my head. Even though Winter Solstice had come and gone, I couldn’t let the year go by without sowing seeds. Not doing so would be like retracting the confidence I had in Mother Nature over the last four years and deprive her of well deserved gifts. She had after all, used my past gifts to the fullest and I had reaped so many rewards from that.
I began to move with robotic motions and suddenly seeds were strewn all around me. One big pile slowly became two; perennials to the left, annuals to the right. I was a seed sorting machine! Knowing there would be at least one more frost in Atlanta before spring came; annuals were promptly filed away for the time being. Out came the plant tags and paint pen. 147 tags later, I sat back feeling pleased with myself. It did not last for long. I didn’t feel that simply sowing the seeds was enough to honor Mother Nature, especially since I had missed celebrating on the Winter Solstice. My mind wandered to other aspects of the Winter Solstice. The focus of the celebration is to be in tune with the cycle of nature and ones part of all life on Earth. Often times, evergreen wreaths are made from fresh herbs and evergreen cuttings from the yard; the wreath symbolizes the cycle of nature. They are displayed on the Winter Solstice and later burned on the Summer Solstice. I needed to sow seeds of herbs and evergreens I could use for a wreath at the end of the year. This would mark the beginning of a new cycle of nature. Lights are turned off during the Winter Solstice to honor shorter days in winter and the Sun's importance to Earth. Afterwards candles are lit as a blessing of renewal for the planet. Some seeds need darkness (covered by a layer of soil) to germinate while others need light (sown directly on the surface of the soil). I would sow seeds that need darkness first in admiration for shorter days and the sun’s importance. I would pay tribute to the Earth’s renewal by sowing those that need light last.
Now 217 containers snuggle soil and seeds. Carefully placed outside, they await the blessing of Mother Nature and the moment where they begin the next cycle of nature. Unusually warm weather for January here in Georgia was quickly replaced by freezing temperatures; exactly what many of the seeds need before they can germinate. I gaze down at the containers, look around at all the beauty Mother Nature has given to me and I am truly thankful for my gift to Mother Nature.