Thursday, July 8, 2010

Friends in Flower

I am friends with all the plants I forage. I am more intimate with them than I am with people. I gaze deep into their petals or the undersides of their leaves. I touch them more than I touch people, digging their roots, snapping their stalks, plucking flowerheads, running my hands along leaves for pleasure. And most intimate of all-I eat them. I take them into my body and they become part of me that has not been possible for me with humans. This is something I long for--human connection. As this summer unfolds, I can see the ways trauma and shame have shaped my ability to connect with people. These are not easy discoveries to make, as you may know. I am grateful to all the plants for the bane they provide to soothe my nerves and body. I trust them in a way that I don't trust people. I know where to find them, year after year. Right now, many of the plants that are at their most delectable in spring are flowering, like this wild carrot, which you probably know as Queen Anne's Lace, by the side of Corn Neck Rd. I thought I would provide a few identifying photos of plants in flower now.

A flowering plant is easy to notice--young shoots or roots, not so easy. If you pay attention to the plants flowering around you now, it becomes easier to find them next spring when they are rising up from the ground, ready to be touched, eaten, to become part of you.

wild lettuce

One of my favorite spring greens, curly dock is easy to recognize by its brown flowers seen by roadsides all over the island right now.

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