Wild in my Backyard: Foraging Fridays

Dear friends, my deepest heartfelt thanks for all your care and concern.

The ending of my last post was not quite intentional. I had gotten to a pause in the story, and then my window of “morning time” came to a close, with a transition from keyboard tapping to Nummy Num giving and naked girl cuddling. I was satisfied with stopping there, but I realize my rendering of our story may have left some of you hanging, What I would have gone on to say was something like this…

When Fern woke up for the second time that morning, we went on to have a quietly blissful day. Jeff went off to work, while Fern and I lolled about, reading stories, sitting in the sunshine and enjoying the gift of Life. For her, it is her normal M.O. to delight in each present moment. For me, my ability to bask in the light was heightened by the darkness of the night before. All day, and for many days after, I savored each minutiae, grateful to be experiencing, to be seeing, to be loving, to be breathing.

The SFPD was conscientious in its follow up, sending over investigators and crime scene detectives. Unexpectedly, instead of being all business, their inquiry also touched into our emotional lives…Were we ok? How were we holding up? Is there anything else we needed them to know? Wow, that’s a really big goddess in your hallway. I like your dragonfly sculptures, I used to be an illustrator. Then I did criminal sketches, but now all I get to do is retirement portraits. I have a kid too, my son is three….

The week had more surprises in store, and I had to deal with incredible intensity in my professional world. These events felt far more challenging to hold than what had transpired earlier with our intruder. I crashed into Sunday with emotional and physical exhaustion, and this fatigue has been the accompanying tune for the last few days. Today I am looking forward to time spent with both kids, and tomorrow I am attending a workshop with Maria Owl Gutierrez, rebalancing this tired soul with wildflower companionship. (I met Maria at my Alma Mater, and we found each other to be kindred spirits. She has come to my offerings at the institute, and I look forward to being her student now as well. )

As we have recapitulated our lives these last days, there hasn’t been much time for foraging. But this morning, we awoke to a pink sky, and as the soft glow faded to wakeful blue, Fern and I tiptoed downstairs to our back porch garden.

I wanted to show you our first albino Alpine Strawberry of the season, but then this happened…

and then this…

We planted approximately 8,000 potatoes in bags, but I have worried for their fate. Right after we nestled them into the soil, it proceeded to rain for a month. Potatoes don’t like too much water, as they can rot, but apparently I needn’t have worried.

The bag method for taters really is genius (thanks Jax!). As they grow, you want to keep adding soil up to the top leaves, since they will send out more roots to make more french fries. As they reach towards the sky, the bag can be unfolded in accommodation. These puppies are so enthusiastic, it seems I need to add more soil every three days.

The mystery wildflower mix I planted is starting its big unveiling.

Accepting my invitation, the faeries have brought their own surprise volunteers to the party. The 20 nettles I grew from seed were all mowed by snails (WTF snails?), but there are others who hopped the fence from the garden next door, and have taken root next to the strawberries. Just two days ago I said to Jeff, “When we have our own place, I want the sunniest side of our house to be surrounded by foxgloves. Apparently, the foxgloves are as impatient as I with the househunt, and have come to me.

I feel lucky to be chosen for company.

The traditional “And so it begins” first picture of the season…

The salvias, both on our porch and in the garden next door, are unfurling their seductive blooms.

In a few days, we will be blessed with scarlet ruffles.

We will have to wait a few months for the crown jewels, but the clary sage in my plot is going strong after three years…

As is the motherwort and wormwood…

Garlic will be an early harvest this year…

Borage volunteers everywhere, thank goodness. You know to eat the flowers, right? Sweet cucumbery goodness. My favorite, and someone elses too.

I open the gate to the garden and am greeted by a chorus of voices. The contrast from winter is ridiculous. Although still green and peaceful, a January walk through the paths is a solitary experience, all my friends quiet in slumber. Now that we are swinging through spring, the air crackles with exuberance and joy, each growing being, each bloom, cheerfully sending out greetings and invitations. During twilight, the falling dusk brings nothing short of a mystical experience…a gentle breeze moves through the leaves, the plants dance and the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. To deny The Presence would be to pretend I am dead. And we are alive…so very thankfully alive.

And if you wonder if we are ok…

…I suspect this tells all.

Much love to you, beautiful hearts who lit up our darkest night with your constellated light. Bless.


8 thoughts on “Wild in my Backyard: Foraging Fridays

  1. Yes, Fern’s smiling face says it all! “Everything is good here, world!”

    ( and her fairy sweater is soo cute)

  2. Hee hee! So happy about the potatoes. I feel better someone is growing the next generation of them!

    BTW – one of the Hebrew names for Divine Being is “Ha Makom,” — ‘the place.’ Your choice of the lovely term ‘The Presence’ reminded me of this.

    Green blessings, dear ones.

  3. My garden is growing as well. So far I’ve got lemons, carrots and strawberries. I’m looking forward to having tomatoes, oranges, corn, and squash. My neighbor’s apple tree is in bloom so I might be getting apples as well. Have a wonderful weekend!

  4. Hello Amazing Lady, Brave beautiful one, Your garden is beautiful, and how thankful all the little bees and butterflies and little birds must be, that you are living there and loving there, keeping everything alive. I have just read your previous post too, and am so shocked that this happend to you, and of course your brilliant writing brings it all even closer. This same thing happend to my sister about six months ago, and she reacted similarly to you guys, and found herself talking to her intruder, he as well was drugged up and searching for money, ran past her in the end. She was so brave too! I am so glad you had Jeff there, and each other to shake out after, and hold and share. These big moments and trauma’s in life bring your aliveness so close, in your face, in your hands, it seems. It does make you appreciate it all over and through and through feel your love of life. I am glad at least for this for you. But will also be glad to know that all settles and you can feel really safe again in the paradise you have created for your Fern.

    Sending lots of Love, and do send me an address, me and Madeleine have been making a box of treasures for you …. ready to go, it is, all the way to you: )

    xx Oh I am blogging from here now http://www.elizabethcarringtonart.blogspot.com


  5. oh your beautiful garden! and your beautiful daughter! i love this follow up of pure bliss, thank you. i hope that sweet springtime keeps bringing peace and kindness to your lives. so good to see fern’s delighted face, oh man, what rapture!

  6. SO glad to see this sweet follow up post Mary. Your beautiful family enveloped by joyous life and light after such a dark ordeal. Your garden is looking lovely and Fern’s smiling face is pure love!

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