One the things I'm most proud of is giving birth to my children. My first child took 31 hours and true to my granola-crunchy, over-researched ways, I refused epidural for the first 24 hours or so and by the time I was begging for it, it was too late. So a natural childbirth it was. Oh my. By the time it was over, I was exhausted, but when my daughter was finally born, wow, I felt like a superhero. I really did. Wonder flooded my being at this life that just came from my body.
I had two more children, both naturally again, although for different reasons. They came so fast it was a miracle they didn't fall out in the car. Each time, it was amazing. There is truly nothing like a newborn baby--especially when you're the mama and you just nurtured that little life and brought it forth.
New life is pretty awe inspiring. See that smile?? It makes you forget everything that just happened. A fresh baby still smells a little like heaven, I think. Having said that, you couldn't pay me enough to go through that repeatedly just so I could experience the wonder of it again!!! My memories and living vicariously through younger mamas is just fine for me.
So what's a person to do to taste that a similar kind of wonder? Enter seed starting! Each year, I experience a taste of that wonder by watching my seedlings grow. As a flower grower, I start most of my flowers from seeds, but even before that, I started vegetables from seed for my garden. I got the whole light stand set up and heat mat and then when those little leaves popped, and took a ridiculous amount of pictures. I couldn't believe those little seedling popped out of such tiny packages.
Interestingly, I always find myself kind of doubtful when I'm sowing seeds which is silly since I do it every year, but we are strange creatures that way. They seem so dead, dry, and small. Especially flower seeds. Some of those are incredibly tiny. And yet, with a little time, heat, water, and a little love--they pop and I feel that wonder all over again. How was that in there?? How does it become what it becomes? I know there are perfectly good scientific answers for that, but where's the fun in that? Wonder is closely linked to joy and I find it's usually found in the simple moments in life.
In the past few years, the statistics show that record breaking amounts of people have taken up gardening during lock downs. That's millions of people here in the United States. So whether you're new at this or have been gardening for years and buying plant starts from your local nursery or big box store, how about trying to start your own seeds this year? It might become a source for a newfound joy and wonder.
You can choose the varieties you want to grow instead of being limited by what a store offers you
Time it for the best time to plant. (I find big box stores often offer things at the wrong times which sets you up for failure.)
Start growing indoors before you can really head outdoors when you have that gardening bug
Takes up a little space on a counter or table somewhere
Now you have to go shopping seeds and out-compete all those other new gardeners, but the joy is in the hunt!
There's tons of resources to get started on this journey. I have landed on using soil blocking to start most of my seeds, but a seed tray works as a low investment start. You don't need fancy lights either. With LED options everywhere or basic shop lights, you can get a setup in no time for little costs. Here are a few links plus a little video I did of my soil blocking this season. I can share more about soil blocking in the future.
I encourage you to try starting your own seeds this season! Let the wonder of life fill you again.