Pregnant with expectation

dscn4676It’s May, and Spring has officially arrived in New England.

We’ve been enjoying the beauty and new life of the season, both farther and closer to home, as well as in our garden.

Yesterday, we rented a car and hit the highway driving north to Beverly, where we volunteered for the morning with a co-worker of mine at his library book sale.  After he took us out for a coffee (we had smoothies) at a funky joint in town, we hit the road to drive around a bit on the north shore.  Driving north on Rt. 22, we happened upon Long Hill, a property of the Trustees of Reservations in Beverly, MA.  This place, which is open to the public just about any time, is 114 acres of gardens, forests, trails, meditation areas, and a gorgeous home.  We noticed right away that the land is the home to the Beverly gardens run by the Food Project, the non-profit that encourages local, urban gardening and that built our raised-bed garden.

As we drove up the hill, we parked and began walking through a series of small trails where trees were in full bloom, seedlings were in the ground, and flowers were beginning to come in.  Throughout the poperty were natural and built sitting areas and gazebos for reflection and meditation, and we definitely plan to return to spend the morning reflecting there.  Set against an ever-greening background of forest, this place was one of the most gorgeous and serene places I’ve been in New England.

dscn4674The biggest takeaway from Long Hill were the smells.  I was blown away by the diverse and sweet fragrances coming off the blooming plants and trees, smells that put to shame the counterfeit perfumes that we humans manufacture.  I’m still amazed at how the aesthetic beauty and fragrance are built into our natural world for our own enjoyment alone.  We’re learning how to enjoy this better and more often. (see all the photos from the day by clicking here)


Our garden is shaping up nicely.  Seedlings continue to spring up, and we’ve been at the difficult job of “thinning.”  For those of you who don’t now, thinning is when you separate plants that share a common container and choose the ones that will continue on, as well as those that probably will not survive.  Peppers, for instance, tend to be very territorial with long roots that take up space.  They tend to “fight” with each other for survival, and if they are not thinned, one plant may hinder the growth of the rest.  Thus it is the gardener’s job to make the difficult decision of which pepper plants live, and which ones die. That’s that.  I wouldn’t touch a spiritual or theological application of “thinning” with a ten-foot garden hoe.

Other highlights from our garden:

– Onions are out of the house and in the garden outside.  Boy, are they hard to transplant.  So fragile.

– Planted from seed the following in the garden: squash, melon, watermelon, beets, and more carrots.

– Peas are trellised and coming up nicely.  What gorgeous little sprouts peas are.  It’s a shame I don’t like peas.

– We are growing potatoes in a tire.  That’s right — we covered the bottom of a normal car tire (our neighbors had 4 that they were done with), filled it with soil, and planted potatoes.  As they grow up, we’ll stack more tires and add more soil.  This is apparently the way it’s done in many places around the world, and seems perfect for urban gardening.  (here‘s an article about recycling tires for gardening)

– some garlic that we planted last year and met zero success is coming up this year.  We’ll see how it turns out.

Here are the latest pics from our garden:

I’m convinced nature is the simplest way to connect with the Divine, and when we are not doing this, it is our loss — and God’s.


6 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Paul on May 3, 2009 at 8:54 pm

    You should really know better than to ever use the word “pregnant” metaphorically. 😉


  2. ditto! my first reaction was WOO-HOO!


  3. Posted by Daniel Gray on May 4, 2009 at 3:29 am

    I kept reading for clues that Chrissy was pregnant…


  4. Chrissy is NOT with child. =) I even got a note from my mom saying her heart skipped a beat. Geez, if I knew the heading would have caused so much confusion …


  5. Posted by Fred Phillips on May 4, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    I was about to call your mom and dad with congrats, but will wait for another time!!!


  6. Posted by Chrissy on May 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm

    Wow…sorry to disappoint so many people. : ) Steve, there must be some part of you that knew that title would get people reading… AND for family that reads the blog, we’d give you more of a clue before it “went public” on the blog. : )


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