Water, light and food.
If wall charts could talk, they’d tell you these are the things plants need to survive, to advance from seeds into leaf bearers.
Wall charts work better, of course, with human interpreters: gardeners, farmers, teachers. It’s one thing to diagram photosynthesis but another to act out how plants grow cattywampus if they don’t get even amounts of light. It’s one thing to talk about calculating dehydration but another to stick your finger in the dirt.
Water, light, food.
And love, a gardener might add, noting that gardens need careful nurturing in order to bloom, that their beauty never comes from following a soulless diagram. Plants crave companionship and care as much as people do.
Water, light, food, love.
And time, the farmer would say, for nothing comes to full harvest overnight. You must have patience when helping things grow, an unhurried understanding of how different things mature differently.
Water, light, food, love, time.
And change, nudges the teacher. Cultivating the exact same thing in exactly the same place eventually depletes every richness. Sometimes, oftentimes, reaching the next stage of growth requires a different environment. Seedlings outgrow their cups; fields and crops must rotate. All of us must move on.
Water, light, food, love, time and change.
Ah, a lovely tribute to those things (and people) who grow and change… like your lovely children and Farmer Lauren.
Where would we be without our community gardens? Drove by my CSA farm stand today to see it still covered in snow. Still. Can’t wait to put our fingers in the dirt, to eat things right off the vine, to be surprised at what the season has brought us (which is usually more celeriac.)
Enjoy the smell of dirt for the rest of us, okay?
Down here it’s kale, so very much kale. Your dirt will reappear soon, I promise. Wet bathing suits will replace wet Hello Kitty mittens, and all that snow will seem a distant memory. Until then, yes, we will relish it enough for all.
I once lost a grant in the finals to a couple who were using large scale negatives and sunlight to grow grass, reproducing the photo in 3D. Damn creativity.
Damn, damn, damn. What will those creative people think of next?!
Lovely… sweet things in life.
Thanks, Dawn! I have been thinking about you this past week while I was in Santa Fe, thinking about your trip to visit your daughter in Israel and hoping (so hoping, so much) that my relationship with my girl will be like yours, as mine was with my mother. It’s a very special and wonderful bond, but it is tricky to navigate sometimes, as least for me.
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It’s tricky for me as well, Jen… and continues to be. This is so kind of you to say. Some days, I would wish the same for you, and others, not so much… that mother-daughter thing is so very complex. It tickles me to know you were thinking of me. 😉
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