This past Friday, I was lamenting the fickle, seemingly mean-spirited nature of some people as I stepped along the top of a narrow concrete curb conversing with our realtor about the latest development in our land quest. We were discussing possible outcomes and the sellers’ motives when I spotted some peculiar looking stalks in between the curb and an old garage. As soon as it registered what those alien-looking plants were, I was instantly feeling more optimistic about the whole debacle. The asparagus I had been waiting for many long years had arrived.
Eight or nine years ago, I read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, and family, for the first time. Without having any idea all that I would go through in the intervening years to arrive at this moment, I made myself some lifestyle pledges upon reading and rereading that book. One of the more symbolic pledges was that I would one day have a place to grow my own food and live there long enough to see asparagus come to fruition, a process that notoriously takes 2-3 seasons.
Barbara is so dedicated to growing this vacillating veggie that in the chapter she called “Waiting for Asparagus”, she recounted having planted it outside apartments and college dorm rooms before she ever owned a home. Its season, both in and out of the supermarket, normally so good at passing off zombie, passport-carrying produce as edible way past its prime, is short. It takes a long time to grow to a harvest-worthy crop. But when it is good, it is a pure delight. And, like my astounding partner and this massive lifestyle change I unwittingly set in motion all those years ago, it is worth both the work and the wait.
That wild asparagus told me to keep working and waiting. It told me to not lose hope in spite of some seemingly unfavorable circumstances. And as our new friend Carmen told us the day before, it told me to act as if the life we are aspiring to is already happening because it is happening.
And I can see it now. Maybe finding a trailer already set up for the exact tiny house we had been planning to build helped me to visualize the potential in a piece of land I couldn’t see in any of the others we had previously visited. Or maybe this is the “right” piece of land. Maybe it isn’t. But being here with these gracious, sweet people in this magnificent place has certainly helped solidify the feeling of home we’ve been longing for since we closed the door on our old place for the last time.
So, as we await the word on our counter-to-the-counter-offer on our second potential parcel of land, we will continue to live as if it is already ours. Not that we’re going to set up camp there and start lobbying for squatters’ rights, but we are going to keep the wheels in motion everywhere we can. We’re going to transplant our little seedlings into easily moved containers to keep them growing. We’ll keep liquidating our remaining superfluous stuff and readying our tiny house plans with the intent of being back here to start the build within about a month. Perhaps it is foolhardy hubris to bank on something that might not happen, but doing nothing will get us exactly that. Odds are that laying the groundwork, planting the seeds, will eventually yield something. We just might have to wait a bit longer for our own asparagus to manifest. 😉