Corn on the cob & shell peas: Nana Lila.
Tomatoes: My mother, my grandmothers, my great-grandmothers, myself.
I find us in the garden. At harvest time.
And how is it that this matrilineality surprises me there?
Have I forgotten Eve? Gaia?
I resent the garden like I do all realms relegated to my mother because of course, they meant she had no energy, no time, no spirit left for anything else (if in fact she was admitted anywhere else.)
Even so, I marvel at the capacity of two days of vague autumn sun to ripen so much on the vine.
One must be hopeful to plant a garden and persistent and resilient. Gardening is foolhardy and often stunningly rewarding–body, mind & soul, but especially soul. To be intimate with the soil and the sun, the worms and the birds, the elements and disease is… Everything.
It is a holy act, gardening, in the dirt, on one’s knees.
A man in the garden is a beautiful thing. A child too.
But it is my mother and my grandmother and my great grandmother who I meet there, in the intertwining of the vines while I gather the green beans, reminding me of our lives, our paths, our futures–joined.
I harvest for them. I plant for them. I speak for them.
I hope–for all of us.