20 August 2006

green thumb

The true focus of the blog, of course, is to chronicle, mainly for my own reference, my failures and successes in the world of knitting. But if you really want to know what's been grabbing my attention lately, it's gardening---or at least, as much gardening as one can do without an actual garden. There are no weeds to pull, no beds to tidy, no bugs to watch crawl around, but it's been enjoyable all the same. I'd like to have a real garden some day, I think; for now, though, I've been re-potting my spider plant and philodendron, and I bought an arabian jasmine and some other unknown plant species (tropical, I think) to take their place in the smaller pots. Here they are sitting in the kitchen, their temporary home until the A/C is removed from my bedroom window so that the light can shine back in.

There's something amazing about waking each morning and seeing what new leaves have sprouted, what old leaves have grown---as if I could have had some part in this magic. Truly, it is stunning. A few pots, some soil, and a little fertilizer mixed in water---such tiny contributions from myself, and all this beauty.

"My green thumb came only as a result of the mistakes I made while learning to see things from the plant's point of view." ---H. Fred Ale

All this reminds me, inevitably, of a book by Louise Glück, The Wild Iris. If you will forgive this deversion a little longer, do read one of my favorites.

The White Rose

This is the earth? Then
I don't belong here.

Who are you in the lighted window,
shadowed now by the flickering leaves
of the wayfarer tree?
Can you survive where I won't last
beyond the first summer?

All night the slender branches of the tree
shift and rustle at the bright window.
Explain my life to me, you who make no sign,

though I call out to you in the night:
I am not like you, I have only
my body for a voice; I can't
disappear into silence---

And in the cold morning
over the dark surface of the earth
echoes of my voice drift,
whiteness steadily absorbed into darkness

as though you were making a sign after all
to convince me that you too couldn't survive here

or to show me you are not the light I called to
but the blackness behind it.


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