I received a very fun birthday package last week from my pal Luisa in New York. I always love getting a package from her, as she is an exceptionally attuned and thoughtful gift giver. This year was no exception. There were all kinds of goodies and surprises in the box: Gardener's lotions and scrubs and such from Crabtree and Evelyn, gardening tools and gloves, a recipe binder, and this little sweetie, that I am so excited about!
I've grown lots of things over the years, but never a tree! Isn't this the greatest idea? So, the container itself is a mini-greenhouse, equipped with a peat pellet and five maple tree seeds. I'm glad they're maple tree seeds too, because maples always make me think of Luisa. In her essay, "Author Agonistes", included in the anthology, Silent Notes Taken, she writes, that her "first fall in the Hudson Highlands was spectacular. [Her] sixty-foot maples stood clothed in glory like a row of Chinese brides, dignified in their riotous hues." That line, that analogy, has made such a beautiful impression on my mind, for all these years since she wrote it. So, my tree from Luisa must be a maple.
The first step was to soak the peat pellet in the little greenhouse for 45 minutes. Then the 5 seeds were dropped inside and the lid was replaced. Next, it was to be tucked into the refrigerator to "trick" the seeds into thinking it is the long, dark, cold winter. For twenty days they will stay in the fridge. And then, I will bring them out and set them in front of a sunny window, and hopefully they will wake up with happy maple springtime thoughts, and germinate!
Oh, I hope! I secretly hope that four of them will germinate so I can grow a tree for each of my children. But even one would delight me to no end. I could really use something growing from a seed right now, especially something as majestic as a tree. Patience, Jenna, patience.
Stay tuned! And say a prayer for my little seeds!