January is my least favorite month of the year. Horticulturally speaking there isn’t much going on. Houseplants, which spent spring and summer outdoors, have adjusted to being inside again, and don’t need much care. It’s too early to start plants from seed. Outdoors I pull the occasional weed when I can, but there isn’t anything else to do. I used to take a deep breath on January 1st and let out a huge sigh of relief on January 31st; happy for another January to have passed. It’s a dark, dreary, cold, and long month; sometimes it seemed it would never end. But this January is different.
Last year when talking to my sister, I expressed my frustration about Covid, our inability to travel to see her, quarantine, and a general observation that 2020 and the beginning of 2021 were such lost months. She disagreed. Granted, Covid made life more difficult, but despite it all, she was given more time to spend with her husband and daughter thanks to chemo and surgery. Even when given the devastating diagnosis in March of 2021 of having only a few more months, she lived every day to the fullest, until she couldn’t anymore.
Seven months on I am slowly making peace with the loss of my only sibling. I should be grateful. The days are lengthening imperceptibly, but undeniably.
In the basement I did start a few seeds under lights. I look at a tiny cutting started in August; hoping for something bigger to pot up sometime in spring. Online I found some encouragement: you can remember only that they are gone, or you can cherish their memory and let it live on.
A week after starting those few seeds I noticed the first tiny little seedling appearing. You were right sis: I am thankful in January, thankful for January.