Easter planting. It might be too early; the last frost date isn't for another few weeks, and anything can happen in an Indiana spring. But the forecast is sunny and warm for the next several days, and it seemed like a shame to waste all that good sunshine. Plus, at the library yesterday, I discovered that you can check out packets of seeds! I find this so delightfully wholesome, so unnecessarily good, that it makes me love libraries even more than I already do.
So this afternoon, we turned the soil and pulled up the winter weeds, and then I made little row markers out of popsicle sticks, and planted sunflowers and snap peas and lettuce and spinach. It's optimistic, maybe, but I think you have to be optimistic to be a gardener. To tuck tiny seeds into the dark soil and trust that the sunshine and water will do their thing.
I've always been taken with the way John's gospel tells the story: Mary, outside the empty tomb, sees Jesus and mistakes him for the gardener. She could tell he knew something about dark places and new life and hope.
Today, in our garden, I discovered a brussels sprout plant that I'd half-heartedly planted last fall, not optimistic at all about its chances. I'd long since given it up, once the snow fell and the ground froze. But there it is, still, boldly standing in the middle of the empty garden, soaking up the sun, signs of new growth in the center of its leaves.
I don't know whether it will actually produce sprouts, or what kind of timeline its on. But I dare not be anything but hopeful, because Easter stories are everywhere.