Today is the annual Coming of the Seed Catalogs, which reliably arrive in my PO box in late December. This is commonly an inspirational moment for writers -- it manifests the essential symbolism of the solstice, the newly lengthening days initiating the gestation of reborn nature in the coming spring and all that.
But I'm too cynical for all that. The merchants know that seed catalogs will be a lot of fun to look at this time of year, so we'll do it. They hope that by getting in at the beginning of our spring fever, we'll turn to them instead of the competition. And they hope our fantasies of abundance will exceed the size of our garden plots and our endurance for sweaty brows and we'll end up buying mass quantities.
They're probably right. But this time, by golly, I really am going to assiduously cultivate 800 square feet and grow enough onions and carrots, and bottle enough tomato sauce, to last me all winter. Just you wait.