Our flat-leaf Italian parsley plant is big.
When it first sent up shoots this spring, we were surprised – assuming that the sprig we’d planted last summer was an annual, like the other species in our modest container garden.
We were surprised…and pleased, too, because we thought we had gotten a bargain: Two seasons of fresh herbs for the price of one!
It turns out we were just a tad ignorant about the plant’s life cycle: Parsley is a biennial. But if you intend to harvest any leafy-green seasonings, you’d better act quickly in Year Two, because – as one expert puts it – ‘second year growth is primarily involved with sending up a flower stalk.’
That’s putting it mildly. In our little container, the plant that topped out around 8 or 12 inches in height last summer has now bolted to a majestic four-and-a-half feet – and it’s not even mid-June.
It’s sending out these curly-cute shoots, too. At least they would be cute…if they weren’t growing so doggone fast.
No kidding: Over the past couple of weeks, the plant seems to have grown about six inches a day – so fast that we’re a little leery about going out onto the deck for fear that we’ll become entangled in its vigorous vegetation.
Sadly, the show is apparently about to end – at least according to the expert: ‘Once the plant has bolted, you might as well find another…[because after] setting seed, the parsley plant dies.’
…An agronomic fact which, oddly enough, has me meditating on the Sacred Heart of Jesus today. That’s the feast we mark on this first Friday in June – a celebration of Christ’s all-consuming love for us.
…Love poured out in ‘an overflowing measure of grace,’ as we recalled in the opening prayer at Mass.
Long before anyone had ever heard of The Troggs, Jesus—it seems—was the original ‘Wild Thing,’ making our hearts sing…by sharing with us an abundance of life and unmerited grace.
There are no half-measures in Christ’s love for us. Like a second-season parsley plant, he sends out shoots relentlessly to gather us in.
He is determined to set a seed in our hearts – even if it means giving up his own life to do it.
This is an act worth celebrating, is it not?