I have a recurring dream. Always I am in the kitchen of the home that I live in with my family in my dreams. This is the home where our children will grow into adulthood, and we will live out our old age. In my dream, there are French doors, thrown open to the Southern California day. Outside, it’s blue skies and radiant sunshine, but that isn’t what calls to me through our flung-open doors. Instead, I am drawn to the patch of green that winks at me through the open top-half of our kitchen’s Dutch door: the kitchen garden I’ve nurtured from seedlings and seed. This kitchen garden is a snapshot of Eden, a place where the seasons come and go, and always we are fed. It’s a reminder to feed ourselves, and those who gather at our table, and those with neither food nor table to speak of, with the same spirit of love and abundance that pushes the tree from the seed.
In my dreams, our kitchen garden is lousy with raised beds that are filled to the brim with Swiss chard, and lettuce and Russian Red Kale. There are marigolds to keep the pests away, root veggies to ground us, Rosemary and lavender to make life savory and sweet. And, when I return from my dreams — and these are daydreams, so the distance is not so far — I turn my attention back to the tiny container garden I am starting to nurture on the patio outside our kitchen door. And I find equal wonder in that.
To taste of food grown with my own hands, if only from a single pot, is a pleasure for which I have no words, a pleasure that how very much I have, how very much I have always had.
How to make time for a kitchen garden in your already overcrowded life:
If raising children is your career, make the kitchen garden the center of your life with your children. Teach them how to plant from seed and water and watch their garden grow. Celebrate with them as they harvest and partake of what they’ve grown. Learn to garden with them, if you don’t know how already, and they will learn from you the pleasures of learning their whole lives long.
If you have another career out in the rough and tumble world, make your kitchen garden a refuge from the storm. When you water a plant, or pluck something ripe from the vine, you’ll remember the wonder of being present in all you do.
Those stolen moments in the garden, taken when you least have time, will return dividends later on. They’ll put you in the zone, so you can get twice as much done in half the time.
PHOTOGRAPHY via Lexa23 on Pinterest
PAULA PURYEAR is a Lawyer, Film & Television writer, HuffPoster and Founder of Revel In It Mag.