later in the year

Today, as the light chill of mid-October began to fade, to be replaced by the gentle warmth of the sun rising, I planted one very particular plant. A plant that requires a season of snow or else it will not grow. Now I know my way around plants, I can get just about anything and everything to grow but this one particular plant has evaded the spotlight to this point so I decided to give it what it wanted, a season under the snow and once it was to sprout, later in the year or even more than likely the next year over, I would finally bring it inside into the garden, unless it proved to be a plant that would not fit though that was somewhat unlikely.

The idea of getting that particular seed finally planted has been on my mind for the better part of the summer. It would cross into the ‘current’ part of my brain, where all my daily ideas settle, every other week or so, just one day or so. I’d think about it and then tell myself it wasn’t really worth it. That it was too early and there was no saying that some squirrel or blue jay wouldn’t dig it up and take off with it.

In a way, I suppose it never really left my mind, it was just always pushed to ‘later’ and later turned out to be this morning. The day began on a chilly note and I guess it is the weather we should be having in mid-October. Time seems to fly, it’s so strange to be thinking that not even a few weeks away we still were needing to mow the lawn on an almost weekly basis.

I wrapped up comfortably, a slight mid-season scarf around my throat, a light sweater on and some gloves. I got my seed, my digging tools, my watering can, all I needed to see to the seed. The only thing I hadn’t figured out yet was the location of the particular seed. I knew what would grow from it but I still had to decide on whether or not I was going to transplant it inside once it had finally broken through its shell after some time under the frozen ground.

As big a tree as it would eventually grow, though with me around it was bound to grow faster than it might have ever expected, I told myself that maybe, just for this one, it was best to leave it outside. If it did sprout at all, that was.

So I moved away from the house just so, finding a spot where, once the tree had reached a certain height, it would offer just the right kind of shade once we were outside but wouldn’t block the sun too much from the inner garden. Not that it was much of an issue with where I wanted to plant it, the sun never would actually be behind it so it was a fine idea.

Digging along the ground required a bit more hard work than I had figured. Usually the ground at this time of the year is only beginning to freeze over and I hadn’t imagined we’d had enough cold temperature for the cold to be so hard to dig through but it was. Not that I needed a big hole but I still wanted to make sure that the area where I’d set this eventual little bit of life was in good condition so I’d even brought out some compost and some fertilizer.

After managing my hole, I realize that it wasn’t so much the cold that had been the issue so much as I’d somehow ended up picking a rather rocky bit of ground. I looked at my hole, looked at the area and decided that I’d stay where I was. I’d already gone through the trouble of managing to dig the hole and I had enough compost, fertilizer and dirt to fill the spot back in without the rocks being an issue.

I layered things , setting the seed just so and burying it right and proper as I knew would do good for the plant. I set up a little marker, used some of the smaller rocks to create a little circle around the seed and hoped that whatever bird squirrel we might still have out and about at this point would decide that it was better off to leave this particular bit of food on its own.

“I have soup waiting for you, I’ve just poured it into the bowls, I wasn’t sure when you were coming back in but I guess my timing is good.” He grinned as me as I stepped back inside, working on getting my gloves off so I could get the rid of everything off. The boots, the scar, the sweater though I’m not sure if it should be called a sweater, are they still sweaters if they zip up at the front?

“I think soup is going to help, I feel like my fingers are trying to fall off and we’re just in the middle of October.” he laughed and I huffed softly, to let him know I didn’t quite find it as amusing as he did. His fingers and hands are important, I know that. My fingers and my hands are important too, I can’t draw or take care of the garden without them! He smiled at me, a gentle, affectionate sort of smile and I let it be.

I stepped towards the kitchen, rubbing my hands together lightly. It really was cold out along the ground for this time of the year, it was strange. Hopefully this year we’d only still get just bad frost and maybe a few centimeters of snow and no more, that’d be ideal. Not that I mind more snow but at this point, less seemed best considering our last winter.

He settled next to me along the kitchen isle and we ate our soup is quiet, companionable silence. It was light but oh so steaming hot and that was just what I was needing at this point. I couldn’t place the taste but it didn’t much matter, it was good, it was hot and it was warming me up from the inside. “It’s just October and I’m already wishing we were in spring. I suppose I don’t have many good memories of the snow and cold.”

He had few good memories of the snow and cold, just like me. I think his were honestly worse than mine so I shouldn’t have complained though we both had lived through our own little bits of hell, there was no changing that.

Once done with the soup, I helped him clean up the dishes and we simply moved to settle into the living room for a little while. We’d play with the cats once we’d digested our light meal a bit and that was mostly that. Our days at this point in the season were even quieter than the ones for the rest of the year. The trees hadn’t lost their leaves yet so there was nothing to pick up. The garden more or less took care of itself though I went up every single day. We took care of the cats, I did slight commission pieces when the requests came in, that was mostly it. I couldn’t complain about our lives as they were now.

We had peace, a roof over our heads, heat in the winter, air conditioning in the summer, food for every meal and the comfort of one another’s presence. There really was nothing out there for us to complain about. We had friends right next door who invited us to a shared meal once a week, good discussions and quiet times, it really was a good life we had.

“You think you’ll manage to get that one to grow, this once?”

I blinked at his question but I grinned moments later. “If it doesn’t grow, I’ll just have to say that it wasn’t meant to. There’s not a single seed out there that has ever managed to keep itself shelled in my presence but I guess there’s a first for everything.”

We’d just have to wait and be patient.


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