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OPINION: The optimism of planting seeds - a view of Donegal through the coronavirus crisis and beyond

Daily column by journalist Siobhán McNamara

OPINION: The optimism of planting seeds - a view of Donegal through the coronavirus crisis and beyond

The optimism of planting seeds is good for the soul

I recently heard Grow Cook Eat presenter Michael Kelly talk about the optimism that comes with planting a seed.

This really resonated with me. There is something deeply hopeful about planting. But it is about more than sticking a seed in the ground and hoping for the best. You are involved in the success of the operation from long before that - ensuring that conditions are right before you begin, then nurturing your young plant and giving it whatever help is needed.

But it is worth the effort for the satisfaction of the end product. That could be delicious homegrown fruit or vegetables, kitchen herbs, stunning garden flowers or a wildflower patch that is a magnet for bees, butterflies and other pollinators. 

Or if you’re like me, all of the above.

You don’t need to do a huge amount of preparation if you don’t have time, space or know-how. You can start with something simple, like salad leaves or summer bulbs such as gladioli in a large pot, or parsley on your kitchen windowsill.

And don’t worry about the garden centres being closed. Many supermarkets sell packets of seeds and you can order some great starter packs online. Grow It Yourself sells boxes with everything you need to get started on growing your own food. One of my favourite gardening buys in recent years was the Beebomb pack which gives you a lovely wildflower patch with minimal effort.

Planting a seed can also be a powerful metaphor for other areas of life too. Maybe being forced to stop work and slow down has made you rethink your life, and another path is calling. Is there something you always wanted to try your hand at? Maybe it’s creative writing, or oil painting, or something more career-focused. There are many free online courses which can add to your skill base or allow you to take the first steps into wherever your interests lie. 

Or maybe this time of reflection has made you think about how you value the people in your life, and how you can spend more quality time with them once this crisis ends.

Whatever seed you decide to plant, enjoy the optimism and sense of purpose that comes with watching it grow.

Read next: Nature on your doorstep - a view of Donegal through the coronavirus crisis and beyond

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