Sunday, September 11, 2011
Growing in Disturbed Places
Wildflowers or weeds I look up in books often are described as found growing in disturbed places. Along roadsides, in abandoned fields, ditches, scoured empty forests. It dawned on me today that most of the earth is a disturbed place. The rails to trail path I walk on was recovered from industry and the early 20th century explosion of distance transportation. Roads, buildings, ball fields, strip malls, everywhere we look - disturbed places. I grew up in disturbed places. I live in disturbed places. But as a human, we grow from disturbed places. It's not our preferred choice, but chaos being what it is, and humans being who they are, growth comes from experience, good and bad. I like chicory and birds' foot trefoil, butter & eggs, Queen Ann's Lace. I like tall dramatic ditch weeds. I like that all these survive with dignity, hang around together, nod toward one another and share community and whatever fate will bring together. Better to challenge disturbed spaces with your friends. Life is richer when your stem can stand tall and stretch to the sun, among cronies, no matter where you are.