I just replanted 18 Sweetie and Yellow Pear starts into their own cowpots today. They’ve taken up a new place under a grow light in the back bedroom. They bend toward the sparse blinding light allowed through the southern window. I check on them many times a day to make sure their stalks are straight, to turn them away from the sun when they bow too deep to their god.  As warm and bright as it is, the light from that window is no match for the clean, scorching heat you feel in the yard.  Free of the confines of double-pane glass and studded walls the warmth of a Florida summer beats down in pulsing waves kissing skin with melting breath. You work hard and fast in the morning hours to be relieved before that afternoon intensity shocks your soul, when your boot shod feet feel too heavy to move and the weeds in the garden are insurmountable obstacles. And you hate Florida then, you hate the three growing seasons, the ridiculous number of pests, the heat that turns you to walking liquid in seconds flat and wish you didn’t have the drive to plant, to sow, to grow.

Then you leave it, thinking the break will be nice.

But by late spring, when chick sales are booming and your spam box is ridiculing you with a vast number of gardening emails you start to bend, searching for the sun, for the heat, for the clean beauty of dirt in your nails, sweat on your brow, the pink stain of sunlight on your shoulders. Laughing at yourself for whining over the weather because you had no idea how good you had it.

The seedlings will be going to new homes with rich full sun and no restrictions on their tap-roots, though they don’t know it yet. And me? I’ll be alright for a few seasons, I just have to keep my stalk straight.