A thin, baby radish covered in grit changed my life when I was five. It was the first thing I ever pulled out of the ground to munch. Eating dirt made me shudder but I ate those radishes until my stomach turned sour. It was like swallowing joy.
I was mesmerized watching my grandma pick peppermint leaves from among the pink phlox and milkweed in her rock garden and pop them daintily in her mouth, chewing like a tiny wad of gum. It thrilled me to follow suit, rolling the minty leaves around on my tongue until I felt their surprising coolness on my throat.
I remember summer evenings padding through a family friend’s garden picking young lima beans, slitting the pods open with my thumbnail and tasting their tender, buttery tartness. I felt connected to a warm, comforting energy…… where my own wild things were.
After stumbling through my high school years and coming out broken on the other side, I again felt drawn to the healing earthiness of planting and caring for growing things. During my college years I immersed myself in greenhouses and gardens, wearing brogans and overall jeans and smelling of patchouli. One of the “horticulture hippies” on campus, I spent my meager paychecks on plants and pottery. My husband jokes that I came with alot of greenery. I’m still happiest surrounded by flowers and plants, my house brimming with oxygen!
I can’t figure why, but I’m turned on by the deeply honest journey from seed to fruit and flower.
The way green things, with no striving or straining, open up and receive the moisture, light and care they need with no apology. I love the dailyness of it, too…..the whole becoming process. Without drama, growth happens. Then without ceremony, they begin to bloom. What a beautiful legacy: just exactly what was inside of them becoming visible and available and enjoyable…..light and free as air.
God, I wanna be like that….to fully become the most organic, unpretentious, colorful version of the authentic me. No hype; just fruit.