Thursday Evening Potpourri

*When I grow up, I want to be Rima.

I find that my walking is teaching me; each time I go out one more stranger has become friend. I look at the wayside plants through vehicle windows with longing as I zoom by. . . . Even the mud in the middle of the road sprouts tiny plants, determined, unnoticed and driven-over. As time goes on, my book will fill with green learnings, as I make my apprenticeship with the hedge.

These hedgerows are my home, and in time they’ll be my food and my medicine too.

*I really need to read this book: The Fifty Mile Bouquet:

“In my business practices, I work hard at engaging and educating my immediate community – literally my neighbors – and the city in which I live. I try to always be transparent about what I am doing and what my goals are when people ask about my business. I have recently hired my first employee and I am paying well above minimum wage (more than I can afford, really) and providing flexible work hours that fit into his schedule so his quality of life improves because he is working for me. I make a point to donate lots of flowers to different non-profits and to nursing homes. . . .

Most important[], to me at least, is that I have a rule: my flowers never go further than 75 miles from where they grew. I want my flowers and my business to enrich the lives of those who live around me in as many ways as possible. To me, that’s giving back more than I take from this world.”

*New guilty pleasures: (1) Leonard Cohen’s I Caught the Darkness, as I’m doing stretches after the treadmill. (Come to think of it, the stretches are guilty pleasures, too. I’ve always skipped them before, but now that I’m so sore from all the gardening, they feel really good.) (2) Following @theLadyGrantham on Twitter. If I can’t be Rima in my next life, I want to be Maggie Smith. (3) Pea shoot, borage, & vinaigrette salads. Why have I never grown borage before? (4) Now that it’s getting warmer, G&Ts on the porch with Catoctin Creek Watershed Gin. (5) Morels. They’re only here for a short time. Life is short. Eat as many as you can. (6) Ditto: ramps. (7) One drop of BPAL Morgause mixed with one drop of BPAL Hygeia on the best, crispest, most transparent, most carefully-ironed linen handkerchief I own, slipped into the fridge in the morning before I go to work and retrieved when I come home and sit at my altar. No need for incense now that it’s warm.

What are yours?

*I tend to shy away from best-seller books, esp. the ones that sound as if they combine the worst of Lifetime Specials and Oprah. But I kept reading and hearing rave reviews of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed from people whose tastes run at least parallel to mine, so I bought it on Kindle and figured I’d read maybe a chapter or two. In the end, I got engrossed and read the whole thing.

On the list of Things That I Will Never Do, starting out alone, completely inexperienced, and without resources to hike from Southern California to just north of the Bonneville Damn is pretty near the top. (It’s followed, quite shortly, by starting out with company, experience, and resources to hike from Southern California to just north of . . . well, Moon in Taurus, old broken ankle, and addicted to hot running water and a firm mattress; just saying.)

But I’ve been thinking a lot about Strayed’s point that serious physical challenges, especially in nature, can transform a lot more than one’s body. I may have more to say about this, eventually. (I will say that some editor must have cut stuff from the end to keep the book “best-seller length.” Strayed’s transformation is too rushed and too little explained near the end and the writing style suddenly seems “edited.” Minor complaint. I’d really have liked a chapter or two that explained what it was like for her to re-enter civilization and deal with “the real world,” with getting a job, staying off heroin, becoming a writer, dealing with her family, etc. Too many of us have had experiences at a retreat, festival, workshop, etc. that seem transformative, only to find that returning to our “normal” lives makes it difficult to live out our new revelations. Major complaint.)

Have you read Wild? What did you think?

Picture of wisteria in the blogger’s garden by the blogger. If you copy, please link back.

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