I awoke this morning to the sound of a gentle rain pitter-patting over the eaves of our roof. I thought of the rows of seedlings we'd put into the earth last evening. A comforting blanket of satisfaction rippled with an electric burst of cool excitement over my body.
And then I realized: I am a complete doofus.
It's May. What was I thinking, putting my seedlings into the ground so early?
I grew up in Leamington, where as of this day in May, they've already had several days of 30-degree weather. Tomatoes go in the ground in early May, in a good year. When we first arrived in the Maritimes nine years ago (good golly, has it been nine years?), I laughed at the gardening tradition of not planting until after the first full moon of June.
But then again, yesterday was the warmest day we've had in more than a week, and we barely hit 18 degrees.
I'll tell you what I was thinking. I spoke yesterday with my dad. He talked about his pepper and tomato plants already in the ground. I told him we were waiting until the first full moon in June.
"That's almost a month away," he said.
I looked at the shelves of seedlings growing in my south window. So perky. So ready to jump into the ground.
"But we had three frost warnings last week," I said.
"Did you actually get frost?" he asked.
"No. We're on high ground."
"I say plant 'em."
This from a man who was sitting on his patio in the 32-degree heat.
I sound like I'm blaming Dad. I'm not. At least, I won't until my plants die of frost the second week of June.
Nah, I made up my own mind. I wanted to see my tomatoes in the ground. We may have a couple of frosts left, but I have the tarp all ready to cover them when it comes. And, I held back several seedlings to replace any that may die.
We'll be fine.
The kids frolicked barefoot in the grass yesterday while we planted, completely oblivious to what we were doing. This morning, we put on our boots to go splash in the new puddles. Jane was the last out, and she detoured by the garden on her way to the splash party.
"Dad! Dad!" she screamed as she ran towards me. "The garden! It's full of plants! The garden is growing!"
I had to break the news that it wasn't a spontaneous miracle, but that Erin and I had planted all the little plants that were in our window the last two months. It didn't spoil the excitement for her.
Spring: a miracle every time.