With the onset of autumn, the lengthening darkness that it brings, and the one-year anniversary of my mother's death about to arrive, I find myself wandering around in a bit of melancholy - a "funk" as some might call it. I found insights and healing just outside my back door...
In the Spring of 2008 my daughter and I put together a raised garden box in the backyard. We've enjoyed eating the foods that have come from it since then, but suddenly this summer plants started dying, seeds wouldn't sprout, and this garden box began to mirror how I was feeling inside. I realized a couple of weeks ago that I needed to care for the garden bed, to feed it, rather than expecting it to feed me. So I decided to plant a cover crop in it for the winter - fava (aka broad) beans specifically.
The experiment lies in that I have had a jar of fava beans for a couple of years now that I use in workshops, passing the seeds out to participants to represent "seeding new possibilities". These beans are for eating and have had the outer layer of skin removed somehow - perhaps blanching? I don't know. Anyway, I put a few of these beans in a wet wash cloth a few days ago to see if they would even want to sprout. And, much to my delight and surprise, three out of eight of them had sprouted quite vigorously in spite of their nakedness!!
So, this morning, with the waxing moon in Pisces, I dug up the garden bed and planted the entire jar of skinless fava beans in the dirt, including the sprouted ones. I'm really very curious to see if these beans produce plants.
The whole event is quite metaphoric to me: I, the tender skinless vulnerable one who feels depleted and hungry, is desperate to sprout new roots in new territory in spite of the sometimes hopeless scenarios surrounding me. What seems to be great odds against my being able to grow and flourish in a landscape also depleted and hungry, may actually produce the miracle of new life simply because new life is part of the grand cycle of this here earth. However, I must patiently wait to see if this will be so, tending and watering these new seeds with love.
I'd really love a miracle right about now.