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A profound responsibility
May 24, 2014

A profound responsibility

 The lovely flowers embarrass me

they make me regret I’m not a bee…

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So said 19th century American Poet Emily Dickinson. I get it. The flowers that have made it through this last winter shame me with their courage and tenacity. Emily Dickinson loved her flowers as much as words and celebrated their perseverance against the odds in the struggle to stay alive and thrive through another season. ‘To be a flower is a profound responsibility’ she said. (‘To pack the Bud – oppose the Worm – Obtain its right of Dew ‘ ….) For me, every Spring is a relief, to see the perennials reemerge even stronger than before, despite the relentlessly damp vagaries of Winter. Every bloom a reminder of the triumph of possibility, and the need to pare life down to the bare essentials; to simply do the job that needs doing.

She possibly envied the opportunity for longevity- immortality, even, in the plant world, as her social and cultural standing wouldn’t let her be recognised, in her own lifetime, for the literary hero she was. (I know, supposition, your honour. But I like to think so…)

Emily rarely left the homestead, preferring the company of her words and her flowers. A garden can do that to you. I have felt the last weeks, especially having left the world of ‘work’… temporarily…. a self imposed horticultural exile; with my fingers in the soil, ideas brew, plans form, ideas abound. It’s an exciting time. Also, I recognise a protective drawing in, a pre-emptive strike against empty nest syndrome which I know will devastate me, if I allow it, over the next couple of years. So, garden chores not withstanding, I’m defying Emily’s example and preparing to re emerge to the world outside. I love my garden, but there is too much out there, in the ‘real’ world, that deserves and demands my attention. See you on the outside!

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