One thing I’m feeling this spring is that, five years after we moved to Nelson County, our community is really beginning to coalesce. By that I mean both human and natural connections. And what’s delicious is that the two often intertwine and overlap, like vines on a trellis.
Example: A new friend offers to scoop horse manure into our pickup truck using a front-loader. We’ve been using lots of manure on our garden and are happy to cut down on the shoveling. We meet at the stables; I bring my daughter and he brings his grandson. After both our trucks are full (he gardens too), we take the kids into the barn to feed carrots to the horses. The stable manager shows up and we chat. We’ve met before; she’s the sister of another friend we know through our CSA. Because the CSA isn’t operating this year, we’ve been borrowing some space in their greenhouse to start our seedlings—which, of course, we’re soon to plant in this all this lovely manure that’s in the truck.
Every year, we get to know more people and we get to know more plants—invasives and natives, those that bloom and those that shelter cardinals’ nests. I forever associate plants with the people who teach me their names; many of those lessons happen offhand, during what could be mistaken for small talk. And I’m finding a kind of slow satisfaction, digging into the soil and rooting into the village, that I’ve never known before.