Friday, April 29, 2011

When We Brush Past Each Other

The night of the quiet house.

Luckily Teagan gave me a beautiful book by Stanley Kunitz called The Wild Braid, and this is what I've been feeding myself tonight while purging and dusting and singing and not singing and sitting and sitting again.  "A poet reflects on a century in the garden..."

And I am learning so much, recognizing a lot too, like how a second hand jacket smells like you, fits you perfectly the first time you try it on in the store despite, or maybe because of, the previous life it has lived.

You may think that you plant a new garden each year, but it's really the same garden that He made for us in the beginning, and maybe this is why I love it so much.  Seed after seed after seed, these too have been passed down through flood and drought by some hand that continued to plant them year after year.  There is much of our original home there in the gardens tended each summer, and I have felt that peace there.  Anyway, Kunitz says this,

"There's something very important to me about having a kind of relationship, with plants and animals, that can be transacted wholly without language.  The warmth of one's body is a form of communication.  The stroke of one's hand is a means of communication.  In the garden those forms are heightened.  I have a tendency when I'm walking in the garden to brush the flowers as I go by, anticipating the fragrant eloquence of their response.  I get a sense of reciprocity that is very comforting, consoling."


There is a term in the gardening world called "brushing"--a light movement of the hand over the top of the new seedlings.  It strengthens them, this touch, which should be done at least once per day (and if this flower is a child, you should do it hundreds of times per day).  And one has to wonder if this increase in strength comes from a learned endurance as the fragility of the plant's newness confronts some foreign hand.  Or if it comes from the same place our own joy in opening does--the hand of another speaking without speaking as it recognizes the need we all have for some gentle hand to acknowledge that we are.

1 comment:

  1. All the little snippets of gardenLife I get from people like you & Stanley - they make me want to try growing myself in one some time. Put down some roots and feed off the earth.