Catch and release.

Monarchs get hungry moving through.

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New starts

I started a new job last week after almost two months sabbatical. I’m grateful for the time off and honored for the opportunity before me.

Last Monday, my last untethered day, I visited a local nursery I’ve meant to visit for ages.

And saw some fascinating and strange plants.

With fun names like Elephant’s Foot.

And as the week passed, I haven’t made as many trips to the plot. The tomatoes were patient for me.

I’m currently reading Closing the Food Gap and it’s lighting new fires while dousing others. I keep interrupting my husband’s quiet to read aloud an outrageous statistic here or a shocking history there. Education is not always comfortable.

Twice so far, it’s mentioned that in community garden the most important word is community. I’ve stewed on this a bit. I didn’t join a community garden this round for the community. I joined for the soil to soothe my soul.

When I’d joined in 2012 (same community garden, different plots), I had joined for both the community and the garden. I’d been chastised, looked down upon, and otherwise made to feel wholly unwelcome and less-than during that experience with the community part of the community garden.

So this time, I signed up hoping to garden in peace, quiet, and solitude.

I’ve met more neighboring gardeners in the last six weeks than the entire year I was here last time. Each has been friendly, kind, and generally also hoping to part ways shortly for their own peace and solitude.

Yesterday, I spotted this “Hi” left on the far side of the path between my garden and a neighbor’s I’ve yet to meet. It is one of the main paths in and out of the walled garden. A butterfly had alit beside it.

Yes. I hear you. Community gardening, indeed. (I added an ! before heading home for the day, lacking sufficient supplies for a suitable reply.)

A wander.

A parting gift card burning a hole in my… shelf. I don’t usually have pockets.

Not today, Sunshiney Spike.

It wasn’t quite sprinkling. It wasn’t quite not. It was a rare damp air that isn’t humid here. I wandered.

I’m not sure where my home will be in a few months. Perhaps exactly here. Still. Perhaps wondrously the same.

Still… it may be on the far side of town, or perhaps the far side of the country. (I’ve been talked out of the far side of the world… for now.)

I don’t sit still well. Each day is another urgent drive to another passionate destination. Starting this business today, running that business tomorrow, being enveloped into the wilderness to run feral in the woods the day after that…

It’s all been a bit much.

A bit of a jungle gym, don’t you think?

Untethered.

I am feeling more untethered, two weeks into this sabbatical, than I quite know what to do with.

I don’t recall wild carrot ever being such a sea – in this spot or any other. How the climate change and other human intervention changes so many things.

There was a beautiful field of Indian Paintbrush nearby each spring. Year after year until three years ago. The farmer didn’t mow at some choice winter moment to allow enough light to permeate the heavy grasses laden over the soil. No flowers. And again the next year. And again.

This year, the farmer didn’t mow that same field, but did mow the one across the way and lo and behold – Indian Paintbrush!

Alas, we didn’t put two and two together in time to continue the “children in wildflowers” tradition this spring with that field. There is still time to add it up on some Blanketflower or Coreopsis though…

A birth day.

We pick some days to mark. We choose wedding dates to become anniversaries. We choose Thanksgiving, or not. Christmas or Hanukkah or Kwanzaa or Yule or not.

And some days choose us. A grandfather dies on a mother’s birthday. A cousin shares his birthday with the day a best friend miraculously survives.

Today, this jovial fun-filled mischievous holiday was the day my son chose for his birthday and boy, did he hit the nail on the head.

“Mama, dere’s a flower in dere.”

– Yes, love. And we’ll leave it for the bees, won’t we?

“I yam, mama. I yam leaving it for da bees. The bees is hungry. And they make us food! Is it snyacktiem?”