Yesterday was the spring equinox. Today things have already teetered off kilter, each day visibly longer than the night past. The race is on to sow, grow, and harvest before that next, brief, sweet spot hangs in the balance.
I spent a decade striving for balance, and failed to achieve it. A loved one describes my moods as 'very Caribbean'; I retort how very English. But it is very true, I am a creature of extremes. The work of this last year seeking the balance of how to let those moods course their necessary way through me, while shielding my children from their peaks and troughs. No small feat when they are always with me. No mean feat when I have had to absorb and abate all their emotional storms in turn. How tricky to balance when the scales are tipped against you.
I would have been wise to look at nature around me, and notice there are only two perfectly poised days in the year. The tipping points. Yet when I manage to stretch my tiny mind and consider the perspective of a planet, everything is always in balance. Longer days here matched by shorter ones there, a cyclical rhythm of beautiful equilibrium. Limited human that I am, it is hard to hold onto that view, hard to widen my vision so broadly. I must trust instead, that when things feel vastly one way or the other in my narrow sphere, that on some scale bigger that I can see, it balances out.
I know I am not alone with this. I need only look at the news to see how my fellow humans struggle, and what terrible damage is wrought in our inequality. Where to begin, it is overwhelming. I try to hold my gaze so that no one suffers unseen, but this season I cannot manage for long. I soon turn my eyes back to my garden. Better to fret over germination rates of seedlings - far too many lychnis and lupins, none of the fancy cosmos. Best to inspect the lips of green bulbs rising like blind ghosts from the dead garden for signs of flower buds.
It is the spring equinox, so I begin sowing in earnest. We are in the season of light, and warmth, and regardless of how I might avert my eyes in fear of the dark, it has not disappeared forever. It is merely underground, on the other side of the world, to inevitably return. What to make of this? Should I give up hope of the light? Will it never conquer our darkness?
I scatter seeds over rich, black compost. I marvel at the poppy seeds, the tiniest of them, how they disappear the moment they leave my palm. In days, weeks, a sliver of green shines out. If all goes well, a strong little plant grows. I look back on last summer, on the tall plants that stood bearing a succession of bright blooms. It feels impossible, the most ordinary of miracles. I think of the seeds, having embraced their dark dormancy, now growing, ever reaching for the light.