During the spring, Margy was talking about wanting to plant sunflowers this year. But as it happened, she was busy with too many other garden projects to actually do it. So imagine our delight when the garden planted its own sunflowers! They came up under the bird feeder, now sitting empty for the summer, but where sunflower seeds were the food we offered to the birds (and squirrels) all winter.
Lately, the garden plants have felt mostly like children who need our care and attention. With the dry hot weather, they’ve needed a lot of watering. Yesterday, I did another foliar spray for the fruit trees, to help them ward off Japanese beetles, which I also have been picking off every day and dropping in soapy water. And there have also been lovely raspberries to harvest each day, and snap peas (almost gone now) and kale and basil to gather and preserve.
So this gift of flowers emerging without any effort on our part–perhaps the land is reminding us that she loves us as we love her?
It has been one year since my retirement began. One of its themes has been to find connection with this small portion of the Mother Earth, this land we are so lucky to call our home. As non-Indigenous people, we are trying to heal a long wounded history of our people’s disconnection from land. Our ancestors left their home places generations ago. If our society had an understanding of earth connection, it could not destroy earth life as it destroys, with such thoughtlessness–pollution, clearcutting of forests, poisoning of soil with pesticides, trash dumping, mining, fracking… the long list of ecological destructions that are endangering us all.
So in our small corner of the world, we are trying to reweave those threads of interconnection, reawaken the truth–long dormant in our bodies–that we are not separate from the earth–we are the earth. As we tend the land, as we care for the plants, as we pay attention each day, we hope that a shifting occurs–that we move from domination patterns to partnership patterns in our relationship to Earth. We know how small we are–yet hope that if we can shift our own patterns, it might in some way ripple out to the larger patterns. Because we are interconnected. Because that is the magic.
The gift sunflowers remind me that the land herself is eager to be in partnership with her human children. She loves us and wants wholeness for all.