Taking a Chance on Peas by Catherine Castle

IMG-20150427-00535Recently, I’ve begun a new blog series on my webpage called A Writer’s Garden where I highlight authors who are also gardeners—or is it gardeners who are also authors? At any rate, we are talking about our gardens. I’ve got gardens on the mind right now, so guess what I’m going to talk about today—my garden.

Ever the one to make a writing or life analogy from a story—any story or any topic, I’m going to talk about planting peas today, which I did yesterday. It finally stopped raining, and I don’t have to dig in the mud.

Yes, I know it’s late. Peas are supposed to be planted on St. Patrick’s day in temperate zones, or about a month prior to your frost-free date in other zones. I live in zone 6, which means my frost-free date is about April 15th. So that means I’m more than a month behind schedule.

But it’s been really wet (deluges and severe-weather-warning wet) and cold (frost-in-the-morning, electric-blanket-on-the-bed kind of cold). Last Friday morning we even had a freeze warning. I also hadn’t cleared the creeping Charley out of the beds, because of aforementioned reasons. So, the peas are going in late. They may grow. They may not grow. But the important thing is that they will be planted. Because if they’re not planted there is no chance they will ever grow, mature, and be harvested.

Planting my peas could be an analogy for life, or writing, or any other goal you might have. We can talk about how we are going to do something, sometime in the future. We can put it on our to-do list, keep transferring it from day-to-day, week to week, month to month (which I have been guilty of). We can even start, but not finish. I’ve done that before, too—a lot. I’ll bet you’re guilty as well.

A few years back, my husband’s uncle gave my husband and me a great piece of advice when we told him that after retirement the two of us planned to co-author fiction. I was already writing as a solo, unpublished author and as a published journalist. Uncle, who was ninety-one at the time, looked at the two of us and said, “Why wait? Do it now.”

We took Uncle’s advice, and I try to remember what he said every day, especially the latter part.

Life is short and planting season is even shorter. So, I’m planting my peas this week, even if they are going in late. Who knows? This might be the one year we have a cool summer. Those peas might thrive in May or even July. And if I don’t plant them, in spite of the late date, I might lose the joy of picking and eating fresh peas from my garden. If you’ve never eaten a fresh pea right off the vine, you don’t know what you’re missing. Yumm.

What about you? Are you planting your peas, even if it’s late in your season? If not, there’s no time like the present to begin. Don’t let your opportunities pass you by.

Catherine Castle Catherine Castle’s book, The Nun and the Narc,  is a two-time award-winning novel. She’s also and award-winning gardener.

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