Wednesday, June 23, 2010

On Growing


It's a time of growth around here. The garden is lush, almost too lush, if that is possible. Our radishes are three feet tall, flowering, and threatening to shade out the zucchini. The pea tendrils are wrapping themselves around the fence and neighboring lettuce. We haven't had a chance to put up scaffolding for it to lean into and clasp. We had an early spring, which no one in Minnesota can complain about. And now we've enjoyed lots of warm days and nourishing rains. The result is that our lilies are trying to put out five flowers at once. They've toppled over with ambition. Is it possible for our garden to be growing too quickly?


Yesterday I laid down on the couch with my daughter. I was on my back and she was belly to belly on me, her toes reaching my mid thigh. We laid like this, me watching her, while we waited for Dada to get home from work. Her hair is still whispy but thicker than it was even a few short weeks ago. She looked around the room as I watched her, trying to make sense of the sound and sight of the shadows shifting as cars drove past our front windows. She seemed to be listening to the sound of a bird's whistle as it drifted through the window. She lifts her shoulders and belly off the ground easily now. Crawling is just around the corner. She sits up on the rug, reaching for toys and her dog without Mama's help. Sometimes, when she's in my lap while I'm sitting at my desk, she bangs her head against my sternum. Hard. It was only a few months ago that we were all so concerned about the safety of that little head that she's now using as a weapon. And she eats. A lot. I am putting off giving her solid foods. Nursing is just so easy. And giving her solid foods means we're one day closer to not nursing at all. Already I miss the way she reaches for my fingers while she's eating and grasps them tightly, so tightly, in her chubby hands.


I was in the garden the other day (or was it a few weeks ago now?) weeding. It feels impossible to keep up this season. We pull up the little buggers or turn them over with a hoe, but they're growing impossibly fast. Will we ever be able to eat that much spinach? The cilantro (which is really from last year's seeds that were cast about in the wind) is knee high. Eric warned me the other day that we might have to pull up the radishes. The roots are still spindly, but the leaves and stalks are threatening to crowd out other plants. But I resist such a rash move. Surely there's time and space for all of it, right? Can't I have my radishes and peas too?

We're thinking a lot about growing around here: what to hold on to, when to let go. But I've answered my question. Yes, it is possible for things to grow too quickly; plants and children both. So I rub my girl's downy hair and pluck some lettuce leaves from the ground. I watch her watch me through the garden fence.

5 comments:

PonderandStitch said...

This was truly a beautiful post. It made me remember my baby holding tightly onto my fingers- though she is no baby anymore. Ten years old next month- where did the time go?

Stunning said...

How lovely - Your little girl is just beautiful and your garden looks lovely too!

Your comment on my asparagus post still has me laughing... That article was great!

Have a wonderful day!

Rhena said...

Ponder -- Thanks! Oh no - don't tell me that the time just keeps moving too quickly. I was hoping things would start to slow down when the newness wears off.

Stunning -- Thank you! For some reason asparagus always evokes laughter!

kate hopper said...

Rhena, this is so lovely--the writing and the photos and of course your little darling.

Rhena said...

Thanks, Kate!