I recently decided to start a vegetable patch.
I wanted to grow some tomatoes.
I asked my husband to get the seeds for me.
Despite his highly analytical mind, strong attention to detail, and (assumed) ability to read, he picked up a packet of radish seeds. Radishes. What on earth am I supposed to do with them? (Please share any recipes or ideas below).
In his defence radishes are also small, round and red. I guess its an easy mistake to make…
This is not what I asked for.
I didn’t ask for radishes. I didn’t want radishes. But I got radishes.
So rather than getting (too) mad, I planted them and began furiously researching what the hell I should do with them as I’m pretty sure I’ve never even eaten a radish. I’ve been told they go nicely in a salad and are adored by guinea pigs… Unfortunately I am not a guinea pig.
Despite my reservations, these little guys have made my weekend. Why?? Because, of all the seeds I planted recently, they were the first to sprout and they will be the first to harvest.
These tiny little green shoots have given me hope that everything else I have planted will one day pop their little leaves above the soil and grow perfectly until I am ready to dig ’em all up and stick in a semi OK salad.
What do I do?
Much like my radish seeds, none of us asked for a deadly global pandemic which would shut down the economy and lock us all indoors for months on end. We didn’t ask to work from home or to be left without a job at all. No one really wants to be trapped on desert island with only their partner for company, so why would we want to be trapped indoors with them?
We all want to travel, drink cocktails, get hair cuts, see our loved ones, listen to the office drama and see the production of “Riverdale” resume. (Just me?)
But this is what we got.
So what do we do?
Make the best of it
Plant some seeds. Develop some interests and skills you can enjoy both now AND after lockdown.You could see an entire garden flourish – Learn something new, write that novel, enjoy a box set, get into running, set up a weekly call with long-distance friends, do those home projects you’ve put off, refine your creative skills, get better at baking, and start a vegetable patch.
Sure, some of these seeds won’t germinate or simply die. But through all of my vegetable growing research, I’ve learnt that you’ve gotta plant a few seeds in the hope that at least one strong plant will survive through to harvest.
Like my radishes, this situation is not something we asked for. Maybe you weren’t planning on ever planting these radish seeds, but it’s a perfect opportunity, why waste it?
It’s a stressful and confusing time, so do something positive to get you through it. Use this “Great Pause” as an opportunity for something new, to grow. Maybe you’ll learn something or pick up a habit which will make a difference to life after quarantine…
Radishes aren't so bad...
Who knows, once I’ve grown these radishes, maybe I’ll like them and grow them again next year. And when we are travelling, eating out and spending all day in the office again, maybe we should consider keeping up those weekly video calls with grandparents. Perhaps we will keep writing in the family whatsapp group, continue to cook dinner with fresh ingredients and practice painting on the weekends.
This season will not last forever but it is an opportunity to develop a new normal. Don’t think about what you can’t do, focus on enjoying the things that you can do no matter what is happening in the world. Soon these months will just be a memory and we’ll have more seeds to grow. But just remember to water your new skills and positive changes after lockdown to keep them thriving.