why roots stay
Isn't she pretty? So dressed up, I love looking deep into Rosemary and imagining the flowers were the true inspiration to the victorian era. Know what I mean?
Anyhow, what I really want to wonder and write about is roots. I've been watching this one plant, marshmallow, for years now. Every year new shoots come up, stretch to reach the sun from the north side of the house, and then die back down to nothing as the frost sets in. And every year I cut back the stalks, wondering what that root is doing down there. I mean, it started with maybe 2 little stalks, then 10, then too many to count. How much does a root have to grow to support such growth?
And then I translate: So for perennials ,which most herbs are (and which we are, living year after year), every year there is a dying back and shedding of excess growth. Then, if left in one spot, there's time for the roots to widen and wander, and then the plant (or person, perhaps) returns in Spring with more growth, more breadth, more wisdom. I wonder, if our culture celebrated staying in our communities rather than moving from one coast to the other for a job, a change of pace, a cheaper place, would there be more collective wisdom, a deeper root to tap and grow from? Would we know more about the ground we dwell upon, or even change the language, to the ground we dwell in? It's not easy to stay "with" - in relationship, in livelihood, in land, but I have a hit that if we could, we might have an easier time with both letting go and growing out from, just like the plants. Maybe that's why winter feels so good for us wanderers, it's the only time we let our legs land and give our own inner roots time to widen and wander - and become wise.