You know how some people are fussy eaters? The ones you hesitate to invite to your table because you’ll end up making three dinners instead of one? Well, I’m learning that plants are worse, much worse. At least some are. Very picky. Very. As a neophyte gardener, for that is essentially how I must describe … More Fussy Eaters, or, The Plants in My Garden
Standing still, as would a hunter viewing its prey, I let the moment absorb me. On another day, in another time, I might say “I absorb the moment.” But not this day. A sheer green canopy sways above my head. Tiny glimmers of light shining through the laciness recall cloudless nights in the Sahara Desert, … More The Enchanted Bamboo Forest
In the dead of a winter night, I dreamt of a green, sun-filled garden, filled with the thick fat leaves of a jade plant, the feathery tendrils of ferns. I stood in a glassed-walled room, misty with gauzy air, as many dreams are wont to be. Before me, on the other side of the glass, … More “Nothing is More the Child of Art than a Garden”*
Fall can be a bittersweet time, a time to look forward to cool-crisp nights, hearty meat-and root-vegetable stews, and the smell of burning leaves, that is, you’re allowed to burn them where you live. On the other hand, the coming of fall and frost signifies the end of the growing season, and the beginning of … More With Time and Frost, Things Fall Apart
I bought four very green, very hard pears four days ago. Waiting for them to ripen made me think about how quickly everything happens in our lives today. There’s something soothing about watching the ripening process, something profound actually, because no matter how much I might have wanted to make a pear cake, I just … More Waiting for Pears
No smell of cow patties flitted through the air, thank goodness. After all, just before lunch who wants to contemplate biting into a sandwich perfumed with the stench of manure? We stood on the knoll about the Maison Beliveau and watched the black-furred cattle, including two hefty bulls, running down the hill, hell-bent on cozying … More Lavender Fields Forever
For the moment, the end of the series of notes on monks and their gardens.
The history of medicine, a fascinating subject, shows how people began to understand more and more about the corporeal body. Herbs played a big role in the evolution of this understanding, and medieval monasteries encapsulated this knowledge: The curriculum of these cathedral schools embraced originally the Trivium, (arithmetic, grammar, music), and the Quadrivium (dialectics, rhetoric, … More The Random Herbalist: Charlemagne, St. Gall, and the History of Medicine