Monday, March 2, 2009

"What Force Drives the Green Fuse Through the Flower?" Dylan Thomas

Check out Dylan Thomas' poem "The Force that Drives the Green Fuse Through the Flower" . No answer, but a great poem to read a few times as I wait FEVERISHLY for planting season. There is some Force stirring right now in all those who plant, whether farmers or backyard lovers of the miracle of gardens. Myself, I'm getting pretty spiritual this time of year. Since I was three years old and taught the ropes of planting radishes on my parents' dirt farm ("dirt farm" translating roughly as a farm that produces dirt, if nothing else), I've been a believer. I know no other way. I cannot be in a yard without gauging it for plantability: how much sun it gets, what kind of soil, the possible transformations if I were to be given my head and a shovel. Maybe some yards are content to be left lulling their lives away under a blanket of grass. Maybe its part of my disastrous Christ complex to save everything that makes me want to convert yards into vegetable-and-flower-and-tree-producing entities. Maybe its my old age desire to leave something behind me of worth; and what is more worthy of leaving than a lust for planting and raising seeds? Perpetual rebirth, oh baby that is a garden. I've been reading Barbara Kingsolvers book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. It's one of those books I will be handing out to all my friends. It is written by a woman who loves plants and growing and food with the passion of a farmer. Farmers, who are poets in their own right, for their dreaming of the future, the potential, the realization of every growing cycle, and for their faith through weather and blight and market vagaries that life happens again and again and again. Man, right now all us gardening addicts can see is green. Future green. Baby green sprouts filling up the bare brown that we are preparing to turn over and make all nice, as we break out the shovels and the tillers and the seed catalogues. Even better, check out Kingsolver's website at for her great insights into American food culture, as she calls it. She is on a mission to save our souls from the purgatory of impersonal food. Her book describes a year of eating food that is grown in the county where they live, by themselves and others; but much more than that, it talks about remembering where food comes from (not the grocery store!!) and about respect for what we eat. Planting is, I think I speak for planters here, a personal connection with the other form of life on the planet. It is close encountering of the best kind, with the Earth Mother (yeah, I've read all of Jean Auel's Children of the Earth series celebrating the Goddess religion, way too many times). It is meditation, it is faith, it is an art. Its a great time of year.
An answer, sort of: I think the Force is Love.