Today we broke ground. I stood with shovel in hand, trying to make out the borders of the long forgotten garden beds, now just gentle hummocks, engulfed by Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens). I leaned my weight onto the spade and felt a smooth, gratifying slice. No rock, no gravel, no tree roots impeded the blade.
As I lifted the first shovel full, raised it high, and dropped it, the black loam crumbled in place. I knelt and shook the soil from the buttercup roots and discarded the pernicious weed in the pathway. This soil in this bed will be the earth that feeds us for many years, perhaps the rest of our lives. I worked my way down the row, breaking soil from the roots of the various weeds, familiarizing myself with the plants, the insects and the worms that made the soil what it is. It was rich with life, worked in years past but fallow for a few years now.
Tilling the earth for the first time in a new garden is a meeting that I cherish. In that black, delicious dirt there lies all the hope for a bountiful fall, all the potential for unknown flavors, and all the nutritional elements that will soon become our flesh. Now, to become a garden, we only need a seed.