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For many people, planning a garden is a simple joy to help them dream of spring in the midst of winter.

For me, planning a garden is a leap of faith.

The first year after I was diagnosed, I couldn’t even bring myself to plan more than a day in the future, let alone into the next year. We had just bought our house, which came with a gorgeous pre-cleared garden area, and the best I could do was throw some spare tomatoes in the ground in July.

The next year, I couldn’t believe I was lucky enough to still be here to plant another garden. “Planning” still wasn’t something I felt ready to do yet, though, so no early seeds were purchased. When the season got closer to summer, I bought plants and some seeds, but I still delayed putting some of them in. It felt a bit like tempting fate. Eventually, we got the garden in and I was able to lose myself and my worries in the glories of a growing garden.

This year is the first year I’ve let myself think about a garden so early. I still worry about jinxing myself too much, but I also recognize that I am being mindful about not taking tomorrow for granted, even as I must necessarily do so in order to be able to dream.

Having children and planting a garden might be the ultimate acts of faith in the future. I pray that I can be around for many, many seasons of watching both grow.