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  • Jackie Skrypnek

Begin Again

Updated: Mar 8, 2019

seed packets

Well, we've done it! We've seen ourselves through another winter. Sure, it's not fully behind us yet, but the darkest and the coldest of it is. Sometimes, as someone who lives in Alberta, this feels like having endured a bit of an ordeal - ordeal as in an experience that's transformational in its difficulty. Although winter can often be arresting in its beauty, we do regularly contemplate relocating to a milder climate, feel like we could (and sometimes do!) go to bed by 8:00, feel cooped up indoors and generally chilled. But when we turn the corner into spring, there can be a sense of being new and stronger precisely because we stayed, we saw it through, we felt the flip-side of easy warmth and expansion.

Right on the bend of that corner, or sometime just before, I pull out the garden seeds. I start longer season veggies in trays indoors so they'll have the head start they need before planting outside. They show the way to spring and I follow as though led by invisible tether. If you ever doubted that time is cyclical, you need only look to the inevitable reappearance and regrowth of our vegetal counterparts.

tray of seedlings

If you had some of last summer's harvest stored for the winter, perhaps, like us, you're now down to your last couple of potatoes, final jar of pickled beets, or a dwindling reserve of frozen pesto. Thankfully we plant new seeds, are both relieved and astonished when they sprout, and can nearly see, smell, and taste the crop we'll be enjoying again come fall. I'll be eager to offer tomatoes, greens, herbs, and whatever else is abundant as part of the Hereabouts breakfast menu.

But I'm getting ahead of myself! For now, there is still snow in the forecast, the ground is frozen deeply, and a tray or two of seedlings are being coddled in the warmth of our home. We've been here before and will be here every year so long as we choose to follow the cycle and to participate in a fresh start. To begin again.

So raise a glass ( final squeeze of last year's frozen berries...) to new beginnings! To spring!

deep snow on garden
Our garden, the day I started pepper seeds indoors.

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