3.17.2010

galanthus

Slow love is about knowing what you’ve got before it’s gone.

I spent hours last spring, dawn to dark, putting in a new garden. I was obsessed with it, and not really questioning that, just giving in to the need, and to the weird, mindless, mindful therapy that came of it—hands in the heavy, clay earth, shovel clanging against stone, pain vibrating into my neck and back, not knowing what time it was until darkness fell and I could not see what I was doing. But I went back into the house carrying within me the amazement I felt as I thunked my tiny plants out of their plastic pots, wondered at the fragile, slender, white, roots that were all that connected those plants to any hope of life. I kept looking at those roots and thinking, is that it? Is it possible? Is that all you have to keep you going? Out of those pale, tentative roots will come color, and shape, and fragrance, and height? I put those plants into the ground with hope, and with the understanding that that’s all I could do. Give them a start. It seemed like…not much.

But, as a friend of mine put it, when I pointed to the one scrawny snowdrop that had made it through the winter in my new garden and told him how much I missed the carpet of white flowers that used to appear every spring at the front door of my old house—“So? Now you’ve got only one snowdrop. Concentrate on that one. Look at it like you’ve never seen a snowdrop before. See what happens.”

And it’s amazing.

One snowdrop can give you more than a thousand—if you let it.

That is slow love.
(I've adapted this entry from my new book, Slow Love)

2 comments:

Jeanne M. Hannah said...

I see that we have similar taste in plant material. Once upon a time, I had the time to indulge myself in horticultural pursuits. Now I sit at my desk and work, work, work while the gardener does the hard work.

This is a long download (a PowerPoint slideshow) of my former gardens. Now working on new ones.
http://www.goodmedicalcare.com/Documents/GARDENS.070623.ppt

megan said...

dominique, i have a thing for last pages, last paragraphs, last lines, and the last two lines of this post are some of the best i've read recently. i'm so excited to have discovered your blog via grace's, and i can't wait to read your book (as a former editor at a magazine who was laid off due to the downward-spiraling economy and had to start over herself, i can totally relate). thank you for putting yourself out there.