Frost for Mother's Day

Some savoy cabbage starts to head-up

In retrospect, it should not have come as a surprise. Years ago, driving in Pennsylvania on an early Mother's Day morning off the farm, I saw a young boy holding his body tight in the cold, almost lost in the size of his father's coat, as they both sold flowers on the side of the road. It was just a flash, but I remember it still, for having truly felt him as I passed by. A cold morning then, a cold morning now.

We got a very late frost, down to 30 degrees on the farm, that nuked the first basil, annual flowers, okra, and cucumbers; and nipped the tomatoes, corn, squash, and beans. But, as I expected, this hot weather -- 93 degrees was the high this week -- cleanly separated the living from the dead; and, selectively forgetting the dead, the living are an inspiration. The corn is growing right out of its frost-burnt leaves, and what looked pretty drastic on the squash is now hardly noticeable. Just a tiny realization, but a smile really is just the tip of the iceberg, I thought, as I felt one creep across my face, while I had inside myself something richer than awe at the green regrowth all around me. Here's to life trying to live.

I have something of a rule here on the farm, that when geese ha-ronk by, we stop and breathe. A zen bell we don't have to chime, with even the sound of wings pinioning above us. Two geese landed not thirty feet away while we weeded strawberries on our hands and knees, then poked around in the grass a bit like we were doing. Their landing, and then their staying, felt like a secret we weren't supposed to know. And trying to tell this now, I understand that it's a secret I couldn't tell.

There is a pond beside us, with geese who come and go, and so lately we have had the good chance to stop and look out over what we are doing here. A lot to do better, but a lot to smile at.

Note: We are having an Open House this Sunday 10-2'ish, and the next Sunday if weather cooperates. Stop by the farm, have a look, maybe walk away with some free veggies, if the Farmers Market folks don't buy them all. Oh, and bring a friend!

Storm clouds pass by.

The sweet corn pushes past its frost-burnt leaves.

Everything is still so little, but I guess it's still so spring. Watermelons in the foreground.