We sat across from each other at the table on the back porch, a pile of peat planters on one side and a stack of seeds on the other.
Jon perfected his technique by putting the soil in a bowl and spooning it into the small rectangular planters. Half full of soil he sprayed it to moisten then add two seeds, mostly Zinnia, but Cilantro, Basil, and Batchelor Buttons too. Then another spoon full of dirt and more water.
My method was a little messier as I scooped a handful of soil and sifted it between my thumb and fingers over the ten-pack of peat pots.
Then we wrote the name of the plant we hoped would sprout on each ten-pack and put it in the little portable greenhouse.
The greenhouse is as tall as me with four shelves for starter plants and a plastic cover with a zipper door. We moved it three times already and still aren’t sure it’s in the best place.
I never wanted to have children, but when Jon and I first got together I was in my mid-forties, and for the first time in my life I understood why two people in love would want to have a child together.
For me, it was the feeling of wanting to create something with Jon that came from the love that we had for each other.
We never gave birth to a child. But I feel as though through our art and the farm we have hand-made a life that nurtures creativity and gives birth to many small sparks of life.
That’s what I felt as Jon and I carefully separated the tiny seeds and patiently placed them in the small cups of soil, laying a thin blanket of earth over them, and providing them with the water and sunlight they need to grow.
We did this quietly, talking little, which is unusual for us.
I worried the work would be tedious and was ready to leave the bulk of it for Jon to do. But after filling 100 peat cups it only made me want to plant more seeds. So we went to the Hardware Store and bought two hundred more peat cups to fill.
That’s when I realized that planting the seeds with Jon felt more like a meditation or a prayer than a task to be completed.
When we were done and looked at our little greenhouse full of life waiting to come into being, I thought that we had done it again.
Even if none of the seeds ever sprouted, we had created a beautiful afternoon together full of peace and the hope of life.