Since moving to New Jersey I've planted a garden every spring. Some season's yields are better than others but that's life in the backyard garden. Last Spring I decided to experiment with lettuce. I heard lettuce was fragile and hard to raise. Nevertheless I bravely planted my seeds. The days turned into weeks and the weeks into months and before either I or the lettuce seeds knew it, Fall had arrived. Notice that even in Fall I still referred to the lettuce as the lettuce seeds. That's because nothing happened. No lettuce at all. Lots of okra and chard and kale but no sign of a single lettuce leaf. And then, kind of like it always does, Fall stepped aside for winter. This past winter was long and it was cold. Really cold. Really long. We had a few heavy snow storms, too. Winter has apparently finally ended and so I went to the garden to prepare it for spring planting. I pulled up the early and rapidly growing weeds reminding myself that a weed is just a plant we don't want growing where it is currently growing. I raked away pine needles and all sorts of other stuff. And then I saw it. One little lettuce plant looking so bright and cheery. I was stunned. How did this fragile little lettuce plant survive such a long and cold and, yes, bitter winter? Clearly lettuce isn't as delicate as its reputation would lead us to believe. Also, life turns to life just as the night turns to the sunrise. I'm, of course, not going to eat that lettuce plant. I think I'll just leave it alone and see how long it can keep coming back. Perhaps none of us is as fragile as we have led ourselves to believe. Perhaps that's why we just keep coming back for more time in the sun.
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