Heart Beet, Sweet as Sugar

A few years back my cousin Pearl made this video about my great uncle Harold, her grandfather. It was hysterical then, quirky and charming, but watching it again this week I was struck by something I hadn't noticed before; Addie, my great aunt, her somewhat reluctant but wholly supportive "oh boy, here we go again" look as Harold prepared the beet - the sole survivor of seventy seeds that were planted earlier in the season, the best beet she ever had.

"The moral of the story is you never know what the seed will produce until you plant it."

I can't stop thinking of those words, turning them over in my head, thinking about gardens and what's important in life. How finite and unpredictable everything is. Except for love. 

To live long is always the goal. To live long and be successful. To have all the monies and all the accolades... But what would the story be if all the beets had come out of the ground? Surely, those beets couldn't ALL have been the sweetest in the land? 

The great love stories of our time are too often obscured by the loud and tumultuous. A long marriage is a difficult one, for what else could it possibly be? Raising seven incredible children... I can't even imagine... but Uncle Harold and Aunt Addie did it. With love and humor, unconditional support for those in their circle and beyond. They met in their youth, joined arms and never let go. 


Uncle Harold died this week at age 90, eleven days after my Aunt Addie passed away at 89. On their memorial website is the copy of a note, dated April 12th of this year:

 To my Addie.

 ALL I WANT OF LIFE is to sit in the sun with you AND KISS your hand. 

- Harold. 

We can plant a thousand seeds in this life but all we really need is one to root and grow. Sweet as sugar, one.

Thank you for the life lesson, Uncle Harold and Aunt Addie. To many more magical years together, wherever you are.