I planted two flats of multi-colored pansies in the front yard today. That was a success, but the extra lettuce seeds from my planting yesterday that I forgot to bring in overnight were eaten by some wild animal. Probably a raccoon. He (or she) tore into the little white seed envelope and ate them up, making a big mess of torn paper next to the clay pots. I forget that there are wild animals that roam my yard at night.
The first time I remember planting a seed, I was in the first grade. I planted a black and white striped sunflower seed along with the other 39 children in my class. We put them in a little paper cup with rich dirt, pushing the seed down deep into the soil as far as our little fingers could push. We then lined the cups up by the window where they would receive lots of sunlight. We planted them the same day, using the same batch of seeds and same bucket of shared soil to pretty much the same depth, and watered them just the way Kikuchi Sensei told us to. Then we waited.
Days later, one by one, the seeds began to sprout, poking little green ropes up out of the soil in an arc. A month later, by mid-July when it was time for summer vacation, we each had a seedling to take home and take care of. Some children's seedlings were a dark, healthy green, already outgrowing the paper cup, making them topple over. Other seedlings were scrawny yellow plants - they either got too much water or not enough, too much sun or not enough, and were not healthy specimens.
I took mine home where it was quickly forgotten after a week or two and it shriveled up. I cared more about that little seedling when it was a competition. Once it was just mine, where nobody was measuring their success based on mine, I gave it very little attention. I'd like to think I care more about my seedlings now, but my careless handling of lettuce seeds yesterday afternoon might prove otherwise.