Friday, March 8

saving and sharing

Oh March, you windy, windy, half-sun, all-mush-and-mud month.  I feel like a cat on a windowsill these days, with the early hints of spring and warmer weather.  The amount of time we spend outdoors is growing  in relation to the lengthening days.  And I realized this week that Wren and I follow the sun around the house during the day.  We start on the southeast side in the morning hours and work our way west as the sun follows its daily arch.  By the time it sets, we usually have made an excuse to gather on the couch under the western-most window, reading by the last of the natural light as it sinks below the roofs and hills beyond us.  We're not much different than the plants and flowers that lift their faces to the sun I suppose.  
And of course the increased amounts of sun and light and energy also means that the time for planting and planning is upon us!  In his own version of following the sun, Luke has been filling our south-facing sills with planting shelves.  He's crafting them using reclaimed boards and Christmas trees that he drug off of curbs and sidewalks in the wake of the annual cut-down-a-live-tree--keep-it-in-your-living-room-until-it-has-died--and-then-throw-it-into-a-landfill-come-January tradition.

The shelves are filling up rapidly with early spring goodies like greens and broccoli and cauliflower and the likes.
I am aglow with the knowledge that many of the seeds that we plant and nurture and harvest and consume this year are the very seeds that Luke and his friends have saved and stored from last year.  Saving seeds is a very new concept to me personally, but one of the most beautiful and inspiring melding of the things I consider important and life-giving.  Words like community, health, generosity, abundance, sustenance, sustainability, wealth, sufficient, poetry, hope, nurture, and vitality come to my mind when I think about what it means to complete the growing cycle by saving seeds and sharing them with other people.
our local seed swap
A few weeks ago a group of gardeners and farmers met locally to exchange excess seeds and discuss the art of seed-saving.  Sadly the flu (plague) ravaged our home the same weekend and we missed out on the activities.  But our good friend represented us and delivered Luke's shoe box of seeds.  I'm eager to see what kind of plants others brought to share and exchange!

For some reason, with all this talk of preserving and sharing and generosity I am making a correlation to the annual quilt sale I attended just yesterday with my mom.  As is usual, I returned with a stack of fabric and notions that makes my heart race in anticipation of future sewing endeavors.  But this year I am also coming out of that shopping experience with gratitude and love for the people who donate their unused or antique fabrics to a wonderful organization.  This material- and those quilts- are part of another person's story and another person's family.  As I rifled through stacks of old linens and yardage I realized how much history was represented there:  these were old wedding gifts, things that clothed babies who are now my parents' age, hand-stitched samplers made by someone just learning to express their creativity through cloth and needle and thread, or by someone who has embroidered beautifully for more than twice as long as I've been alive.  I am humbled to bring these fabrics home, to continue their stories, and to join in that human compulsion to create.

saving and sharing- I'd love to hear your stories about how you see people saving and sharing in your own communities!  Or maybe just how you make use of your discarded Christmas trees.  These are the kinds of things I might just need to add to my Mnemonic Jar of Hope :)


  1. I love the things you shared here and to see how you and your people are creating real community. I have heard that many decorate their Christmas trees with wonderful food for birds to enjoy and have some kind of community gathering. We have a "Campfire pile," and in the spring we will use our tree as part of an outdoor gathering of friends in our cook out.

    1. Oh! I love those ideas for the old trees, especially the campfire one. I love the smell of burning pine and evergreens.