The Hopper-Kingsolvers are nearing the end of their year of living on what they grow and can acquire locally. I have been savoring the book page by page, seed by sprout. Now it is winter, in their story, and they are contentedly, comfortably enjoying the work of their harvest. They canned and froze and dried. They collected the wealth of their farm, so they could continue to enjoy the bounty through their true winter, with snow and frozen ground. The work sounded exhausting and all-consuming... maybe I would have been less dutiful, less determined to preserve everything, but now that they can look upon rows of bottled sauces and a freezer full of pesto and grated zucchini, I can see the worth of their effort... their sweat equity is paying.
We cannot garden here. No space, little sunlight, and an overzealous landlord, preoccupied with trimming trees and pulling weeds and sprouts. I did manage to shelter and encourage a few sweet peas and they are in full bloom. I sit beside them and inhale their fragrance every day.
This is my harvest. I cut some and bring them inside, but mostly I have been letting them live in the quiet garden shade.
I love their colors, their subtlety and variety, the essence of spring that exudes from each petal.
I love the way the petals retract and wither, the color enriching, and then the fuzzed, green pods that emerge and mature.
I love that they smell like sweet spice. I love the rich green of their leaves and the way their tendrils twine and extend, ever hopeful of finding something to hold onto.
This is my harvest... these photographs will sustain me, later in Fall, when I am enjoying boisterous pumpkins and bold chrysanthemums in other people's gardens, I will look back and fondly recall the garden in Spring, when I had sweet peas .