A year of growing

It’s finally spring, though some days it feels we’ve skipped ahead to summer. It’s the smell of something on the grill and waving to neighbors walking by during dinner. It’s kids stopping to play and moms sharing a drink. It’s thinking we can stay out all evening in the golden light, only to remember school tomorrow, early morning, bedtime.

This spring/summer weather means smoothies outside instead of movie and popcorn after school. It means helping buckle bike helmets and pushes on the trapeze. It means washing feet and checking for ticks every day.

It’s the season for checking my greens every day to see if I’ll need to buy spinach or lettuce next week. It’s dragging the hose to water the little pockets of my garden I’ve planted so far. It’s getting ready for planting all the stuff that doesn’t like the cold (and the stuff that does that I haven’t managed to get in yet).

Monday so many things seemed to come in to bloom all of a sudden. The violets that I wanted for a science experiment flowered. My tulips bloomed. The cherry tree down the way was abuzz with bees. It felt like a long winter. Finally, really spring.

One year ago today, I launched this blog. I set out to create a space to write about growing and food and family and the connections of all those things, and I guess I’ve done that even if it doesn’t look exactly like what I was imagining.

I’m going to be playing with this space over the summer. I may be less regular and trying new things as I continue to focus on the themes of write, nourish, and grow. Thanks for reading and sharing with me this past year.

Write with Me Wednesday—Start with a photo

writewithmewednesday—photoIt is not a great photo. I snapped it a few seconds too late, I see the tops of heads, red hair and blond flowing toward the lush, green grass as they bend at the waist. It’s not a great picture, but I know that they are mid-bow.

“We’re doing a show! Come watch! Are you coming? The show’s starting.”

This summer was the summer of shows. There have been music shows and dancing shows, hula hoop shows and acrobatic shows (like the one they’ve just wrapped up in the picture that involved the crocodile see saw). The dancing shows usually have costumes: the purple and teal fairy costume or the polka dot tulle dress or the shell pink ballerina skirt leotard from the dress up box. The music shows feature instruments—always a drum—and self-written songs. I’ve watched them march and arabesque, twirl and leap, inside and out, morning or night.

They announce each other—“And now the most amazing dancer ever”—in deep, dramatic stage voices, and tell each other what to do in not so quiet stage whispers, “Now you come in. Now. Dance!”

And before I’m invited to watch the show, I hear the rehearsals, which sometimes turn into squabbles as they each fight for their own vision.

I remember watching our neighbors do shows just a couple of years ago. They’d want my girls to be in the them, and sometimes my girls were up for it. Even when they were, at one or two or three didn’t take direction so well. They crawled off stage or wouldn’t say lines or wanted to play instead. Now, this summer, my girls are directing. This summer, they’re the stars.

Your Turn

Write with Me:
Choose a picture and tell your story. Draw from your memory or your imagination.

Share It:
Share your writing in the comments, add a link to your blog, or email me at sarabarrywrites@gmail.com.

Get more ideas for using your photos for writing—Summer Stories in 5 Minutes.

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Planting seeds of peas and dreams

Pea seedlings

“Are your peas up yet?” a friend asked a couple of weeks ago, lamenting that hers weren’t after a month.

“Not yet, but the lettuce and spinach have started, just barely.” When I went home that day, the rain had stopped, and I took a peek at the garden. There among the maple seedlings that are determined to turn

my garden into a forest, I saw uncurling leaves that looked different, crinkly.

Peas. A start.

I’ll keep waiting and watching, watering if it doesn’t rain. I’ll pull the maple seedlings and keep loosening soil, pulling weeds, and adding compost to get the rest of the garden ready. While I’m waiting, the rhubarb is growing so fast you can almost see it; the kids come running up to me with onion breath from eating chives, one of the few things actually ready; and I pull the occasional scallion from last year to chop over dinner because we’re all eager for something fresh and new.

This space is something fresh and new for me too, a space to write about growing and food and family and the connections of all those things. Spring energy is bubbling up through me just like it is through the plants. Things are ready to start popping and blooming and growing. I’m tending my seeds, working and waiting to see leaves and dreams begin to unfurl.

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