The sky is gray an wild, riven by the winds. The earth is yet too cold to turn, and covered by the tattered yellow blanket of last year’s hay. But the chickadees dart through the rhododendron and the red-winged blackbirds spin their metallic trill in the marshes.
In preparation for Mean Erraigh, I went to the local Agway and spent far too much money on seeds and little peat disks.
It strikes me that my Agway experience has a deeper meaning: I always buy too many seeds. I struggle to plant them all, but never succeed and end up scattering the remainder as a feast for the local birds. And I plant too many seeds, which crowds those that make it to the light. I feel guilty about choosing among them, and so they strain for the sunlight with leggy, scraggly, overcrowded stems.
I suppose this is preferable to never turning the dirt and never planting seeds. When it comes to many aspects of life, particularly my creative projects, I make the effort but overreach, and feel guilty when it comes to eliminating potentials. Perhaps it’s better to envision the situation as a yin-yang: within the brightness of seed-planting springtime and its seemingly endless horizons, there lies a dark drop of autumn and its lessons — the reaper, the need to cull and to kill, to make choices, to choose.
Springtime, though, is the time of Aonghus Og, the young son with his exuberance, the rising sap. The wild wind that lifts the wings of the swan, the search for Cair Ibormeith and the dweller of dreams. When the snows recede, the feet spontaneously dance over the half-frozen mud. When the river ice cracks, so does the heart.
Life gives us too many seeds to plant, to nurture; it’s the nature of it. As with any garden, our physical space and our physical time are limited. We can despair over this, or we can let their varied shapes run through our palms, rejoicing in them and the many forms and opportunities they present.