By Bradley Robertson

Cheers to spring, dear readers! Cheers to warmer temperatures, new beginnings, dogwood blooms, azaleas and backyard cook outs. This season has always made me the most thankful to be a southerner by the simple gift of embracing our outdoor lifestyle.

I believe spring to be more special this year as I clearly see the light and hope on the other side of COVID-19. Friends are getting vaccines, case numbers are dropping and folks are beginning to behave more normally. I think we are all feeling a weight beginning to lift off our very own shoulders.

A sense of relief perhaps, that we can move on.
With warmer temps on the farm, it is our season of planting and preparing for Summer. My children get almost anxious in the dead of winter, eager to get their little hands dirty and to be the wild, little farm kids they are.

Sissy and Shep begin by begging to mow grass and crank up the weed eater. They argue back and forth over whose turn it is and which section of the never-ending yard belongs to whom. They eventually take turns, both wanting to work, and instructing the father as to when to go and buy more gas; for these children are not content when their devices run out of fuel.
Braxton, in his own creative world, has drawn up a plan for a new catch-pen for his grandfathers’ cattle. He has dimensions, supplies needed and begins to instruct the generation ahead of himself on exactly how this is all going to go down. He arranges equipment to be needed and with eagerness, he conquers each task he aims for, letting nothing stand in his way.
They are like never-ending worker ants. Often carrying loads greater than themselves yet there is a fire and sheer determination in them that leaves a mother tired and in awe.
I often wonder, what is seeded so deep in them, that in unison they are marked by work and force?

They wake up with their own ideas and creative efforts and then they do what it takes to conquer the path. I often cannot even do this myself. I’m exhausted just watching them and keeping up with their trail of here and there and everywhere. I’ve learned that I am best to feed them, keep tea in the fridge and reply with, “Do ya’ll need any help?”

And the response is typically, “No mom, we got it.”

But I begin to think back on their smallness years ago, the little years when tiny hands did tiny things. Their father always allowed them to get their hands dirty and always allowed them to help. Little hands are perfect for placing small seeds in small holes, packing fresh dirt over fresh plants and screwing small screws in smaller spaces. I believe he always told them “yes you can”.

And so the seed is “yes”. Yes, you can plant things, watch it grow and eat of its fruit. Yes, you can dream it and do it, achieve it and enjoy it and live to tell the story. My children only know that they absolutely can do anything.

I wrote this poem for my children and for you.

Whatever seeds you plant this season, may they bear much fruit and may they remind us that we too are a seed. We are one tiny effort of work that grows into a larger, sweeter story.

For when they were three, they planted a seed.

The seed grew a shoot that turned into a bloom.

The bloom was nourished with water and sun,

And one day, fell away, with new fruit to come.

After many long days of play, the children did see,

A fruit stood alone and ready to eat.

The children held in their hands, what good work can do,

When one seed is planted and cared for by you.”