Thursday, June 28, 2012

Salad days

You'd be reaching for the sunlight too.

These little lettuce seedlings reach toward the glass like two supplicant hands. And no wonder. Another day of Irish mist and rain. Another day of synthesis with very little photo.

My studio is built into the hill, earth-covered like a hobbit house. But the south-facing front is all sloping glass, like a greenhouse, and here on the long sill I have my plants to keep me company. Tomatoes, peppers, spinach, lettuce. They will barely have a chance to reach maturity in the three months I'll be here, but it's not so much for food I grow them as for inspiration. They are like little counselors whispering in my ear: See, see, it is as Augustine said, there is no miracle but one, and that miracle is the creation.

The endless, on-going, omnipresent creation. The burgeoning. The blossoming. The fierce green fuse that drives the shoot. The ceaseless, carefree, winding dance of the DNA.

See, see, there is no end to it. You have the privilege of watching, but never, ever take us for granted, never, ever become complacent, never think us anything but a wonder that should rock your socks.

Those tiny seeds asleep in their paper packets, as small as –- well, as small as the literal and biblically metaphorical mustard seed. Biding their time. Waiting for the caress of moist soil.

Then, wake, wake, fire up the molecular engines, toot the whistles at each cellular factory. Sunlight, water, air and earth into Little Gem Lettuce. The miracle begins.