Wednesday, August 1, 2007

FIELD NOTES: I saw the parsley move...

The beginning of August

...which at first I didn’t believe. I still remember how fascinating it was the first time I saw a time lapse film of a plant growing from seed to bloom. We impatient humans need the mechanical lens of a camera to witness such miniscule increments of movement as they happen. Or do we? I keep some parsley in a blue and white porcelain pot that I can move around to confuse the selfish appetite of the resident woodchuck, but it had drooped like a weeping willow. After watering it, along with all the other potted plants on the deck, I just felt like sitting, doing absolutely nothing and I thought about tabouli salad. Usually, I quickly dispense the refreshing water before vanishing to do something else and by the time I come back, the plants are standing tall again, like magic. But it was a globally warmed sort of day; the outside air heated and moistened to an alarming point that it felt like you were trying to breathe through a damp blanket. There was no noticeable breeze, yet I saw the parsley move. Not the whole pot full, but one stalk in particular. One long stalk must have taken its fair share of water and with a great gulp kept courageously kept pushing the molecules through its stem, jerking nearly imperceptibly, hoping someone would notice. Another little jerk and then another, lifting its leaves as gracefully as a dancer. I saw it! It was either a Zen moment or the heat confusing my senses, but either way, I saw it. I’ve planted seeds for years and years and years, yet I am in awe each time one sprouts and grows up. A cucumber, a tomato, a Kentucky Wonder green bean, and even a daughter. Tonight, I would snip off some parsley. Soon my daughter would be three thousand miles away. But tonight one tall, green stalk would not be turned into a salad because it was brave enough to move.

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