I imagine myself cultivating them with friends, a team, a community of resources and time and energy to give to the experience. I imagine tending to many herbs and plants and flowers and some veggies too. I look across the way to see the coreopsis I planted in the spring, exploding with flowers. I was so concerned that the spot I planted her wouldn’t be deep enough for her roots, and it was shallow and covered in thick mulch, a substance I haven't worked with much.
I harvested flowers from her just last week, and the week before, and she is already exploding with more. I visualize myself picking the flowers, drying them, and having enough for a huge dye bath. I imagine myself growing rows and rows of dye plants and medicinal herbs and flowers. I imagine my community helping me. I imagine myself hosting gatherings and workshops and playshops and education series. I imagine an outdoor kitchen where all the crafting, cooking, creating can happen. I imagine a pond for swimming on hot summer days.
I wandered over to the passionflower vine. She is offering herself, but not vibrantly. I wonder if she needs more shade. She seems content caressing the lone grape vine that is offering her tendrils for shade and leaning.
I notice how dry the early summer vegetables are now that they are past. Perhaps we should pull them out. Do we want to save seeds? I would like to plant some late summer vegetables in those beds now. But I'm likely moving soon. Is it worth the effort?
I turn to my herb bed. She is intoxicatingly alive. The indigo shoots are facing the sun. The chamomile is out of this world! she is soooo much happier in this bed than in the dry undernourished bed I quickly tried to occupy one early summer day. The chamomile brought me to tears, along with the singing white sage: these are plants that don't need a lot of maintenance to thrive. what a relief, in a world that requires so much tending to, these few plants really shine without much caretaking.
Abundant watering can actually stop the roots from digging deeper into the soil, keeping the plants small, and safe. Where the lack of water can allow the roots to extend and shoot down to find nutrients, providing fuller growth. I've noticed how some plant babes do well when they are exposed to the dry hot heat, when they are not neatly planted in a container.
White sage, specifically, sorta wants to be ignored.
and perhaps not be ignored, but she speaks openly,
"Stop caretaking me, listen and see. I am independent."
I see her as interdependent with a seemingly harsh reality of masculinity
against a soft cooling, aromatic feminine.
I can find what I need. I travel through roots below me.
I need space to breathe
I'll move in my own way.
Trust me, I've been doing it for millennia.
White sage reminds me how
I am responsible for my own life.
so please don't smoother me with your endless watching.
Care for me by giving me room.
I can trust myself to grow where I am planted.
And if I need a new spot to thrive, I will make it known.
But please, listen for my silent words and emotional colorings
move me when I appear to be suffering.
use the fruits of my labor to burn away the letting go
or better yet, move with me.
I speak of Resilience.
I can provide a plant a place to rest, some community plants for support and protection, and a little extra water when the temps get dry. The plants know what to do. They offer me a whole lot of space to not have to worry if they're doing OK. I can step back, I can use my energy in other ways. She isn’t asking me to sacrifice, in fact, she is showing me that she can be well without too much intervention on my end. she knows what to do. she shows me that. What a gorgeous reflection to enjoy.
The garden is always offering…