Garlic as my Friend, Teacher & Inspiration

I pull at the hood and zipper of my down coat, attempting to shield myself from another frigid blast of late winter wind.  

I’m amazed how the bitter cold seems to find any exposed skin and permeate through the rest of my body. Even my shepherd, Maura, with her thick coat of hair, seems bothered by the temperatures.

I look out at my garlic patch and remember there are some things unaffected by these arctic conditions. My little garlic cloves are immune to this cold, sheltered underneath layers of seaweed, straw, and thick soil. In these conditions, they are actually getting ready and waiting. Long before other plants are feeling hearty or brave enough to breach the surface, the little cloves will be venturing up from the depths below, rising up with their green shoot to the light.

These intrepid plants began their lives in the late fall, during the dark and cold of November and December, growing roots long after most plants went into hibernation. I find something very admirable and inspirational about garlic, these hearty crops that are growing when the conditions are adverse. Long after other plants have given up growing through discomfort, the garlic is still developing.

It seems we all, as individuals and a society, could learn a little something from them.

by Dennis Kiley

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