This time of year is a hard slog. The weight of winter boots, wool and parkas drags on my psyche - a physical burden that echos a feeling inside: a sore, weighted back, a tired weighted mind. The white blanket is dirty, stained, and too heavy. The magical, joyous thrill of a Yuletide snowfall is gone, replaced with fear and dread. Will the roof cave in? Will my body hold out? Am I strong enough? Smart enough? Determined enough?… Will anything ever grow again?
These days, we are Hope Seekers.
It’s overcast for weeks at a time, and the Spring Equinox is still a month away. I take a deep breath.
These days, we are Hope Seekers. Faith Farmers. It’s not obvious; we have to go looking, or plant our own.
I sprout my hope on my kitchen windowsill. Though not technically ‘tiny’, I live in a very small house. Space is at a premium. I don’t have room for big pots, sprawling ferns or creeping vines, so I grow micro.
Also known as "vegetable confetti”, micro greens bring me joy because they require little: just water, darkness, then light. And they deliver so much sustenance, body and soul. They grow from tiny seed to edible salad in just a couple weeks, a most accessible miracle.
When I need hope, I turn to my little greens and watch as they bend their bodies toward the sun, knowing they needed the darkness to germinate. Knowing they need the light to grow.
I grow my greens without soil. I am messy and clumsy, so for me, trays of dirt in the house are actual accidents waiting to happen. I learned this the hard way: play to my strengths and to my weaknesses. Life can be difficult, so instead of facilitating failure by booby-trapping my life, tripping over bits of the Status Quo I left in my own way, I go easy on myself and set up my spaces in ways that suit me.
On the subject of ease, maybe you’re thinking you can’t conjure the strength or energy to start a garden right now, even a micro one. But the windowsill provides hope and a solution.
When the price of lettuce doubled in my province, I got real intentional about making the best use of the few heads I could afford to buy. Regrowing veg like lettuce and scallions is zero effort. Instead of dropping the butt end into the compost, drop it in some water. Put it on the windowsill. Watch it regrow.
And us too. Maybe we feel like we lost something, missed out on something, misplaced some part of ourselves or had it taken from us. The windowsill teaches us that we can grow again, from whatever ‘useless’ or micro bits are left of our dreams, we can regrow our lives. Give ourselves a little water and sunlight, a little ease, love and attention and watch as the cut ends stretch out in tiny increments toward reincarnation.
Our coven mate Jasper quotes Clive Barker and warns that the great grey beast February can eat us alive if we let it. This time of year is a hard slog. But micro as the greens may be, hope sprouts eternal.
Amy (she/they) is the co-founder of Missing Witches and co-author of Missing Witches: Reclaiming True Histories of Feminist Magic and New Moon Magic: 13 Anti-Capitalist Tools for Resistance and Re-Enchantment.