The best places, by far, are the places we have come to. Any journey teaches this. We know it as we feel it, arriving at some very long last. And there we are, this place we have come to.
I have been feeling it in teases all summer since we found this land, but it was planting the garlic this week that I knew it. You would not believe me, but the smell of the skins of hard-neck garlic is like mint, or bubble-gum, by turns; is, in fact, the smell of every summer, all these years past, winding down to fall, winding down to winter. It is the smell of something done, and hopefully done well, but always done truly. I mean, it is the smell of one more year we have given the spark of ourselves to, and have been given fires back.
On most farms, planting garlic is the last thing one does; but, then, it is also the first. And so it seems only proper that I find myself doing it as not a leap, but an act of faith. It takes a certain kind of belief to bury a thing beneath dirt and straw and the coming winter, and on land one does not even yet know, with all the while even the taste seared into the eyes of that bright green rising up in spring. And so it is also right, that when so many thousands of cloves have passed through your hands, in the end, they would be empty.
An act of faith. But what a great first act. That we would always have this to live up to.