March 2017

Dear Friends,

Thank you so much for stopping by my website. We’ve just passed the first day of spring, and I’ve been busy in my backyard, planting a garden. My dear old dog, Topaz, who must be about 4 million dog years old now, likes to “help” out by sitting in the shade of the tool shed, watching me dig around in the dirt with my little pink and blue gardening gloves. I can’t tell, but I am pretty sure she thinks I’ve lost my mind. 🙂

I am doing more than half my garden in vegetables and fruit this year, hoping to grow as much food for me and my son as I can. I have five full rows planted in corn, from seed, and another five, next to those, planted in chiles, peppers, tomatoes and onions, all of which I got as seedlings. Every morning, as the sun comes up over the beautiful Sandia Mountains to the East of Albuquerque, Topaz and I head out to the garden, and I water the rows.

Being a writer, I find metaphor in this ritual. The seedlings are easy to water, because we can see them. That’s science. It’s there, the plant, proof that a thing needs water. But the rows that are still quiet above ground, these take faith. I know I planted the seeds, but they have yet to germinate and poke out of the earth. I must water them anyway. I found myself, after five days of this, growing doubtful and impatient, wondering if the corn seeds I’d planted were somehow defective. So I dug one up. It had a pale little root, and a pale little shoot, a tiny pinwheel of promise. I felt ashamed, buried it again, and said a quiet apology to God. How many times in my life have I begun to lose faith in something, just because I couldn’t yet see the results of my efforts? How many times did I start to doubt myself or others, just because things didn’t seem to be moving fast enough?

Nature is a slow mover. Time passes, and things shift and move. It is our job, I believe, to do what we are supposed to do. To water the gardens of our lives – to love people, even if they don’t seem to love us back all that much in that moment; to be patient, even when we are angry; to show kindness, even when we are under attack; to be kind to our neighbors, even the obnoxious ones. Faith. We do the right thing, on faith, because it is only then that the gears of the universe can begin to move in our favor. We might not see them moving. They might be moving too slowly for us to comprehend. But if we are doing the right thing, if we have faith in things working out for the best and if we comport ourselves as though this were inevitable, miracles happen.

Happy spring, everyone.

With love,

Alisa (and Topaz)