There's something about planting a garden that says "home" to me. I guess it's the whole "putting down roots" thing. I know. It sounds a little cliche, but the best cliches are founded on truth, right? I have a feeling I'm not alone in the backward nostalgic attachment I feel to sloppy dirt, compost, and small green things.
My Great-Grandpa and childhood hero, Poppy, was quite the gardener. His house, and his garden will always be the idealized center of my childhood memories, so I guess it's only natural that building my own garden makes me feel settled in.
When I was a kid, Poppy tilled out a little four by four patch in his garden, just for me. My little sister, Heather, had an identical patch right beside mine. We dug in the dirt, manhandled wiggly, jiggly earthworms, and watered our patches until they turned to mud. I don't know how much gardening we actually did, but I remember loving every minute of it.
One afternoon toward the middle of the Summer, Poppy showed up with a massive watermelon in his arms. He told us that it had grown in our little garden. Tall tale or no, I don't think there ever was a melon that tasted so sweet.
Let's hope my peppers are as good as my watermelon.