And he said to them, “Why are you afraid, you of little faith?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a dead calm. – Matthew 8:26 (NRSV)
Garlic is a big thing around the Kootenays. Purple cloves of garlic that have a sweet, rich and deep fragrance. The aroma of peeled, chopped garlic, as it is gently sautéed in butter on the stovetop — oh. Homemade garlic bread baking in the oven on a cold, dreary day — oh, oh. Olive oil and garlic baked in one of those clay pots that are sold at specialty kitchen shops and home parties — oh, oh, oh.
Some believe that garlic keeps bad spirits away. It is used in homeopathic supplements to build our immune systems. The saying goes that if we eat garlic together with our loved ones (or liked ones) no one suffers from the strong aroma. Let the kissing begin.
If garlic is good in so many ways, why can’t I grow it? Faithfully, I purchase top-grade garlic and plant it in properly prepared soil at the best time of year. I water and talk to it in the fall hoping that each spring will be different and many bright green shoots will appear.
Last year, I made a bet with a good friend and the first annual garlic competition began. Confidentially, I laid down the garlic gauntlet and said, “The loser will take the winner and spouse out for dinner at…wait for it…The Outer Clove in Nelson.”
Yes, you guessed it…I lost big time. This year, the second annual garlic competition is in full swing — double or nothing.
Now, there are two green shoots that smile at me whenever I dare to look. There isn’t much support around here…my spouse says, “That is grass, not garlic.” But, I am cautiously optimistic and hopeful that this is the year that my garlic harvest will surpass all my dreams.
What do you think? Are you someone of little faith? Are you afraid? Do you need a sign to believe in something?
Turning to Matthew 8:26, I wonder if Jesus’ rebuke of the winds and sea and the resulting dead calm was really necessary. Isn’t it better to simply try again…double or nothing…and enjoy life in all its glory? Let the winds and seas blow and roll. If our garlic crop fails, we know that we have a friend who will share their harvest with us.