Ah May, it feels like a time of renewal. Things are finally turning warm here in Boston after what has felt like an eternal winter. The crocuses and daffodils are finally making an appearance, my husband’s allergies are kicking in right on time, and like clockwork, I am in love with the idea of taking up gardening. I actually go into garden mode every spring and end up buying small packets of seeds with visions of marigolds and pansies dancing in my head. I go down into the basement and find the rusty trowel that I bought during this time about four years ago, and I bring everything upstairs and place it near the front door. I’m even able to track down some gardening gloves (mis-matched from two different years) and they lie atop the pile…and that is where they sit until fall when I reluctantly and sadly put them back down in the basement until another spring rolls around.
My kids have been acclimated to grasping large clumps of soil and placing them in big cups, tossing the seeds in and watching the first sprout of that potato plant raise it’s green arms to the sun. I don’t remember doing this at school, and even though I was raised on a farm in New Jersey (the Garden State, btw), I don’t remember ever helping my mom out in the garden. I’m your girl when it comes to cultivating produce though. I remember like it was yesterday picking fresh strawberries and raspberries, clipping off tender asparagus stems and husking corn at the kitchen table, the delicate hair from the corn falling in a pile at my feet.
You may be asking yourself at this point, “What is your deal? Planting stuff is easy.” Well, for some of you, born to the green thumb, gardening may be easy. For me, gardening is a scary thing. Silly I know, but I’m afraid that I won’t do it right, so I never do it at all. Interesting metaphor there, huh?? I used to apply this self-unfulfilling prophecy to many of the things I tried with the excuse that if it didn’t work out, then I hadn’t really tried so it was ok. One place where I’ve never let that happen is in my songwriting. For some reason, when writing is involved, I am fully confident in my ability to cast seeds and grow something that I love and that I want to share with other people. Now that I am performing these songs that I wrote, I feel the same way every time I get up on stage. Before I get up on stage, it’s still the same worries and panic – maybe I’ll be out of tune? Why can’t my voice be like Emmylou or Bonnie or Sheryl or K.D. or any number of singers whose voices I adore? But something magical happens to me every time I’m in front of a microphone. I suddenly recognize that I am home. And everything that happens after that is ok, because, to coin an oft used expression, home really is where my heart is.
So, it seems right that this spring, maybe yet again, I won’t grow the garden of my dreams, but I am able to share some new music with you. As you know, my new album, Heaven to Heartache is out!! Launched to Europe in February and to the US in April, it’s a fun cd, and I had a blast writing and singing it. It’s got lots of sunshine in it, as well as some shadow, and I hope it grows on you.