Our seeds are spread across the dining room table. Packets and packets of garden seeds — some still good, some long past their prime, but I am loath to let them go. Because, where would they go if not into the rich soil beneath my bare feet? I could feed them to the grumpy winter chickens. I could dump them in the frozen woods. I could let my children play with them and plant them in pots and get their hands all dirty and see what might come up.
I ask a farmer friend what he does with his leftover seeds. “Do you save them?” I ask.
“Some,” he answers. “But not the alliums.”
“Oh yes,” I say. “We learned that the hard way. Last year hardly half of our onions came up. The seeds were old. Too old.”
It just begs the question: how long does a seed last? An onion seed. A carrot seed. The seed of an idea in my soul. How long can I keep it in the dark?