Plants Grow in the Dark

(in)courage | 12/26/2018 | Staff
Frost123 (Posted by) Level 3
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They still grow.

A long, rectangular patch of dirt runs along the side of our house. It’s a garden, but no one would call it that at the moment. Pine needles lie like a blanket on top of the soil, an old kale plant stands tall, yellow, and bare, and rusty tools lean on each other in a corner.

Rest - Winter - Weather - Patch - Dirt

It will stay as is for the rest of winter, but when the weather warms up, this patch of dirt will become a garden again — full of lettuce, chard, white radishes, and an abundance of garlic chives.

My mother-in-law tells me the plants grow every year even when they aren’t tended well. The sporadic California rain pools on top of the silt-like soil and slowly drains into the ground, and somehow this is enough to keep the plants going.

Spring - Kids - Responsibility - Garden - Weeds

This past spring the kids and I took responsibility to care for the garden. We watered it, attempted to keep the weeds at bay, and soon enough we witnessed tiny green sprouts everywhere in our garden.

One week after an unusual bout of steady rain for several days, the plants were wild with growth. The radish leaves hung over the sidewalk, begging to be cut and pickled into kimchi. The red lettuce was plenty for salads and wraps. The kale and chard were robust, and the garlic chives quickly took over its part of the land. I was most surprised though that they seemed to grow exponentially at night, without sun and without any human help.

Darkness - Ingredients - Plants - Plants - Water

Darkness isn’t one of the key ingredients that make plants grow. We’re taught plants need water, air, light, the right soil, and the right temperature, but darkness isn’t mentioned. I’m neither a botanist nor a gardener, but witnessing growth in darkness spoke volumes to me about our spiritual growth.

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