Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Life and Times of R.W. Kale (pt. 1: Birth)

"Huh. What do ya know. They look like little magic 8-balls."

I wondered if this thought ran through all great gardeners’ minds when they opened their first seed pack. Had to be. The label said RED WINTER KALE but I was skeptical. Kale is green. This seed is... definitely black. As I plucked a seed out of the package, I paused for a moment and peered closely at the small, round piece of nature that almost disappeared in the crease of my palm. It was staggering to comprehend the amount of mystery that this tiny black seed afforded my mind. Where did this seed come from? Was I truly supposed to believe that this little speck was going to grow into the lush, green salad that I saw in the produce section of the grocery store? That is what I am told.

As I dropped a single seed into each of the one-inch square soil blocks in greenhouse tray, my mind continued to swirl. These seeds had lived together inside a little paper package for close to a year with no change in appearance, no growth, no activity. But by simply being in contact with a small piece of soil, this tiny round seed is supposed to blossom into life. That is what I am told. I am supposed to suspend my reason for the moment and simply trust in a process of which I have no understanding. That is what I am told.

So for now I wait.

…and wait.

I don’t understand it. What was it about the soil and the sunlight that caused such a dramatic change? A few short days ago, I held a tight-knit crowd of dry, round spheres in my palm. Now, in the place of each of those seemingly lifeless specks I see two bright green leaves bursting forth from the soil. I do not understand how this happened, but this is what I see. How did this soil, created from the death of so many other plants prompt this new life to come up? I’m sure there is a comprehensive scientific explanation for this phenomenon but, at this moment in time, I am content to be mystified.

If there are any spiritual or personal analogies to be drawn from this process, I leave that to you. As for me, I know that I will never see a leaf of Kale the same again.

Peace, love and compost,


1 comment:

Ryan Fasani said...

ha! simply beautiful. can't wait for the sequel.