Where I grew up, it was traditional to start seeds on St. Patrick’s Day. Which is what I did: tomatoes, peppers both hot and sweet, eggplant, basil — no such thing as too much basil — broad-leaf parsley, lemon grass, and a whack of “old-fashioned” annuals, zinnias, portulaca in neon colors, asters, nicotiana.
Trust me, there’s no better cure to whatever gripe or complaint or crappy week you might have than holding a tiny capsule of life between your fingers and pushing it into soil, knowing in four months or so, you’ll be eating tomato sandwiches till you’re sick. In a month where hope was scarce and evil stalked the earth (as usual, but more so), planting a seed is reassuring. ”Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been,” said Thoreau, “I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.”