I had time over the weekend to pull the garden apart and prep it for a new spring’s planting of herbs and flowers. I had such a nice time by myself out there in the dirt, but I was a little bit worried it’s too early in the season to begin planting anew. We’re not due any more freezes this year in North Florida, but I don’t usually set down new roots until March.
I walked through the herb section at Lowe’s today, deciding that this is as good a time as any to at least stockpile. I stood outside the store at the herb shelves, peering through oregano and thyme, when a silver-haired woman walked to the opposite side of the shelves. I could feel her nervousness as I put a bunch of basil in my shopping cart. I made eye-contact with her and she asked me, “Is it too soon?” Her British accent caused her question to sound like it ended with a period, even though her worried face made it clear she was asking me.
“I don’t think so,” I smiled. “I think the freezing temperatures are over.”
She didn’t respond, only half-smiled as she made her way around the shelves we shared to the next set. I grabbed peppermint and strawberries and parsley, plus a few others, and she stepped in front of my cart.
“Leggy, isn’t he?” She held up a tomato plant like we were old gardening friends.
“He is. Are you planting in the ground or in a pot?”
“Oh, in a pot. I live in an apartment.”
“I’d try for one of these over here,” I pointed. She smiled again and then walked to the front doors of Lowes and continued inside.
After a while spent contemplating whether or not I really want to try lettuce again this year (I don’t), I walked inside to get a new pair of gardening gloves. The woman happened to be near and walked over to me again.
“I chose this soil here because it says right on the bag that it’s good for pots.” Her blue eyes looked to me for reassurance.
“That’s perfect!” I smiled. “You’ll certainly get tomatoes from that combination.”
“Ok, then,” she said as she went to turn away.
“Don’t forget to sing to them! That helps!”
She turned one last time, holding her lot, and made a face. It was an “I can’t sing” face. I smiled bigger.
“Well, I guess I could certainly try for a glad sound, couldn’t I?” she smirked and continued to the check out.
My husband jokes that I make best friends in every public restroom I enter. It’s not that I need more friends or that I’m an over-sharer; I just love people. Little encounters like this one in the herb section of Lowe’s reminds me that each new “best friend” has something to teach.
Today I’m reminded that if I can’t sing, I can at least try to make a glad sound. If I can’t run, I can walk. If I can’t climb, I can stretch my arms way up in the air. If I can’t laugh, I can smile. The moment I stop trying, stop giving it my best shot, is the moment I fail, and not a moment sooner.
Try it. Make a glad sound today. Just try.
Trying is the best way to start anything.