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The Elegance of a Pea Pod

By Grayson Shelor, Phase I Fellow

A gardener’s wisdom tells us that the early bird gets the worm, but I confess, I’m still not much good with mornings. In the time before we meet in the garden to begin our day, I tend to collapse at the kitchen table, staring blankly at the steam that swirls up from my teacup. Somehow, I always find I’ve lost time when I look up again. For as long as I have been reliant on caffeine, this has been my ritual and my meditation. It’s the time when my brain softens its focus and searches for beauty instead of utility: the aesthetic, rather than the efficient.

For me, tea is life, or at least the rose-colored lenses I need to appreciate it. I doubt that relationship will ever change. But I never expected to find the same sense of contentment that it brings me in weeding a garden bed.

Today as I was weeding rows of peas, I fell into that mindset and became entranced by the grace of design in a simple pea plant. From the thin, curly-cue runners that cling to the trellis, to the neat, white blossoms that herald new pods, peas are the most elegant of legumes. Sautéed in stir fry, boiled, in stew, raw, dipped in hummus, or nibbled off the vine, they provide a healthy measure of calcium, and vitamins A, B, and C, alongside their satisfying crunch. Their pods unravel to reveal a compact arrangement of peas: nature’s original zipper.

Shelling them grants us a moment to slow down, to remember or receive the wisdom of our elders.

Selling them at the farmers market connects us to our community. And the gift continues giving—each pod picked encourages the plant to produce more.

And so, inspired by the mug at my side, I present:

Advice from a Pea Plant

Hold tight to your support system

Rise above the weeds

Share your pod

Go green

Embrace abundance

Crunch boldly

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