Just Before the Rain, or: When I Feel Fragile I Look to the Earth

My body feels fragile today. Human. Delicate. Unsettled. With love, and more than a little gratitude, I look to the earth:

violets...lovely violets

violets … lovely violets

She always comforts me. With her intricacies, her breadth. And especially the details. All the glorious details.

columbines return

columbines return

Though much has changed, since these perennials last sprouted, in my life, my heart – to see them today, in this garden, emerging from where they’ve been seen before, returning, as perennials are known to do  – is a clear reassurance, creating peace within me, with their simple, miraculous growth. Here, the sweet grass has sprouted, and spread, and is even seeding itself already this spring. Sigh.

sweet grass seeding out

sweet grass seeding out

And the steadfast horseradish, though pulled and pulverized, vinegared each fall, retains enough root for this spring’s revival.

horseradish renewal

horseradish renewal

I spotted new mint beneath the plum tree, hustling up to answer the call of spring.

mint, hearing the call of spring

mint, hearing the call of spring

Future mint chiffonade cascading over cool cantaloupe salads … the dream’s alive. And seeds, those inspired dreams of the future, on this little plot of land activating beneath the soil, what bright force of Pachamama’s exuberant expression! Set forth, snap peas, unfurl and ascend, and climb every inch of the fence:

sugar snap pea shoots

sugar snap pea shoots

Today I feel such gratitude, witnessing their clean directions up into the air. I don’t know why, I feel the earth, our lives, my life? about to be profoundly affected, somehow. Take me to my garden, willing feet. Let me step, and squat, and kneel upon you, magnificent earth. Here the kale seeds, bursting:

this season's kale breaking ground

this season’s kale breaking ground

And there, textures of last season, in a pile:

textures of last year's iris leaves

textures of last year’s iris leaves

The wind picks up, clouds amassing, and below, the mound of salad burnet glows in the April light.

burnet, glowing through the gray sky

burnet, glowing through the gray sky

A few petals break loose from the apricot blossoms, scattering through the wind against the incoming rain.

just before the rain

just before the rain

Looking back to the ground, this absolute stunner, every spring – to me – flamboyant beginnings of many a rhubarb adventure. Can you tell I am smiling? Oh how I love you, beautiful sprouts. Strawberry rhubarb chutney, anyone?

the fascinating start to rhubarb season

the amazing start to rhubarb season

I feel a power, exuding up from the garden, into my mind. My heart feels rocked, a bit too wildly, the earth calming me. Tend to all the living plants. Share the harvest. Create something lovely in the kitchen. On this day, it’s a balm. Unconditional. It’s what I need.

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