Shortly after that last post I went to California to visit family, masked up but gleeful that we could travel at last! One day we went for a walk in some old growth redwoods. They were tall, stately, awesome, enduring, all of that was true. But these particular redwoods had something else. They had faces. Is that a sheep? Is that a rabbit?
My head began to fill with stories of spirits trapped in trees; or maybe taking refuge in trees? These trees have survived wildfires, droughts, and colonizers, for over a thousand years – and these are the young ones. Being toxic to insects and able to regenerate after fire only go so far. How did they keep us from cutting them all down? Did these faces have something to do with it? Maybe the faceless ones are gone now, leaving behind only the ones that can look us in the eyes.
The garden was more or less on automatic pilot while I was gone, sprinklers on timers and mulch on the bare spots to block out weeds. I was pleased to see my three-year-old Kalmia blooming. We had these all around the house where I grew up, and I loved to detach the small blossoms with their stiff pink ribs, and use them as umbrellas to shade the Monopoly houses I took outside and settled between tree roots. Yes, I did that. Monopoly houses used to be made of wood.
I had left Zerlina and the houseplants in the care of my friend Cindy while I was away, and came home to find she’d done an excellent job. Zerlina was miffed that I’d been gone, but recovered. In the garden, the transplanted tomatoes had rooted themselves in, ready to grow. But the surprise was the greenhouse tomato plants in my front window: three feet tall, thick, and glowing in the captive glassy light. I hope the tomatoes taste as good as the plants look. In fact, I hope there are tomatoes.