"This is fun Mom," Olive says as she scoops potting soil and places Gladiola bulbs in pots. "Fun, fun, fun."
"Yes, yes it is."
I hold a huge mass of Dahlia tubers that looks like a bunch of deformed potatoes and search for eyes so I can attempt to divide it. After years of growth I think its past time. I'm not sure if the tubers in my hands will produce orange flowers like the sun or white petalled flowers with fine purple stripes.
On this barren April day its hard to believe the tubers will grow at all as our world has yet to turn green. A cool wind blows but the sun is high in the sky and warms our faces as we work.
"Its fun and hard work," Olive says as she fills another pot to the brim.
I smile at Olive, so competent at five, no longer un-planting in my wake. I trust her to plant the bulbs as I showed her, with the round side on the bottom and pointy side facing up and decide to let go of concerns about how deep or shallow they go.
If they want to grow they'll find their way.
We all will.
There is something so innately hopeful in tubers and bulbs. The belief that beauty will emerge from the dark underground. From shriveled "deformed potatoes" flowers will grow.
"Mom, I love gardening with you."
"I love gardening with you too Olive."
I often rage against the uncertainty of life, wanting future answers in the here and now, instead of trusting in the process of time. I fill my pockets with worry, hoarding questions to feast upon on sleepless nights.
But the soil that seeps beneath my fingernails reminds me that life itself is anticipation, and to live is to stand in awe of all that you see.
Happy Earth Day.