On Wednesdays some of my
Well, this weekend Spring arrived.

I was doing something of

I was doing something of great importance (probably cleaning the kitchen) when Tre came tearing into the house.
“Mama, come here! I want to show you something!” He grabbed my hand and I could tell by the smile on his face that he was pretty sure I’d love it.
“Honey, couldn’t you tell me about it? I’m in the middle of something.”
“No, come here!” He tugged at my hand and I relented. I followed him out into the back yard where the boys were playing in the 70 degree golden afternoon. Why is it that spring air feels warmer – better – softer - than the same temperature any other time of the year? Tre hopped up into the raised bed of the garden. My garden, a desolate landscape of hills and valleys from a winter punctuated by digging expotitions by boys. He trotted over to the far corner where one furrow had escaped the boys’ explorations.
“Look!” He waved a triumphant hand at it. I didn’t see anything. “Garlic! Your garlic is growing!” I knelt down and peered at the dirt. Sure enough, spears of green and brown had pierced the soil. I brushed my fingers over them. They were soft and cool. So very alive.
You really should plant garlic in the fall. I seem incapable of planting anything in the fall, so for the past few years I’ve stuck a few cloves in the dirt in the early spring. But never early enough in the spring, because I always dig up wan little knuckles of garlic in the fall. They taste wonderful, but it gets a little old, peeling 19 tiny cloves of garlic to make enough for one sauce. Well, this year I managed to get the garlic in the ground in the fall. Ok, actually the early winter. Nonetheless, Tre and Max and Raphael and I all went out into the garden and dug a trench. I placed the cloves at the right distance and Tre and Max carefully took turns poking them under the soil. Raphael tasted one of the cloves, and then decided gardening was NOT for him. We patted the dirt over them and the boys took turns dribbling water on them from their watering can. I told them rapturously about how all winter long, every time the weather warmed up enough, those little cloves would send out slender little hair-like roots. Just a few, here and there. By the time spring rolled around they would be ready to take off and grow madly.
And now here they are, taking off. “Just like you said they would,” Tre said.
He’s amazed that I seemed to have known what I was talking about. It did seem unlikely, on that chilly winter day, that these little knobs of garlic were going to do anything but rot in the ground as it froze and thawed and froze over the winter. Together we counted the tender shoots and called Max over to see what had happened. Raphael trucked up for his first lecture of the spring about not stepping on the baby plants.
Every year when the winter starts to relax its grip and the plants come back to life, I’m surprised. I may act like I know it will come, but I’m always taken aback. It’s happening, yet again.


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