Ten years ago, when we moved into a neighborhood of farmers, I didn’t know when strawberry season was. My food all came from the grocery store, where regardless of cardboard cut-out holiday decorations, seasons don’t exist. I had dreamed of growing things, imagined gardens and fruit trees, but I knew so little and was so disconnected from how food grows that I didn’t have any idea what I didn’t know.
For me, this has been the year of the garden. I’ve spent hours preparing soil and planting things, but many more hours reading. I’m learning and learning and most days feel I can’t learn fast enough to suit myself. I pick up a tip here and a tidbit there, and realize that even some of the things I thought I had figured out – you pick strawberries in June, with the new summer sun on your back – aren’t quite so simple.
For weeks now I have gone outside with my colander, expecting this to be the day it comes back empty. It hasn’t happened yet. I go out in a sweater and a jacket and pluck strawberries with cold fingers. Bright red berries poke out from under fallen leaves, and I feel exhilaratingly off balance.
I can’t wait to find out what else I don’t know.