Blood and Grassroots (an Erev YK Ponder)

I knew going into this new life in STL that one of my main challenges would be withdrawal from having my own garden or some form of nature.  My drive to restore my surroundings to a more natural, native habitat for wildlife to find sanctuary and thrive is so strong and imperative now, having nothing is as unnatural and stark as I imagined it.  I was willing to make that sacrifice for a more essential need, to reconnect with my son and family, and reset myself on a healthier track, and I don’t regret it one bit.

Of course I can walk over to my son’s and work on his garden (when I’m not sick with the ghastly cold from hell), which is always a good reminder that none of us actually owns or has exclusive rights to the piece of land we’re privileged to take care of at this moment.  Strictly historically speaking, it was all violently stolen and appropriated from its original inhabitants, who had a whole different approach to land and earth.  You get to borrow it and manage it properly so as to pass it on in better condition to the next generation, something white “americans” have mostly botched.  That’s why I’m so driven to restore and conserve whatever natural surroundings I’m privileged to borrow.  Earth literally depends on it to survive.

Still, you can’t stop a natural gardener from finding a way; it’s in the blood.  Wherever I am, there will be plants and propagation in some form, however minute.  If there’s no perennial cutting garden, I just find native “weeds” around the parking lot to make a bouquet.  Today I brought my few little herbs in for the season, and realized the area by the patio doors is going to become a plant sunroom.  I mean look at it–what else could it be?  It’s a perfect all-afternoon sun exposure.  Gotta start somewhere.  Hmm, I may need to appropriate someone else’s garden for all the overflow–watch out, Avdi!

[But wait, there’s more…please read on, if you dare.]

This was going to be an erev Yom Kippur ponder, but I’m never very good at those.  YK continues to boggle and obfuscate me.  I feel like I’m supposed to be groveling in self-criticism and begging others’ forgiveness for all the things, not sure what they are or if I groveled enough!  I’m slightly exaggerating, but it’s hard to break out of that old miserable, oppressive mindset.  I know it’s not really like that, but what exactly is it like?

I do feel genuinely sorry for ways I’ve been or things I have or haven’t done.  A couple of you kind, long-suffering readers may know of what I speak!  If you’re reading this, and I’ve harmed or mistreated or misjudged you in any way, please forgive me, I will try to be better!  As for g-d, no comment.  I’m already screwed, if it comes down to the judgey-type g-d.  You made us all human and imperfect, now deal with it!  I have a feeling they’re not around to listen, anyway.

So back to real world matters of consequence.  I’m here in my STL mind zen den, trying to get my head around YK, and imagining green, hopeful things.  Maybe this new year I can finally start to make a minuscule difference in the immediate world around me, grassroots up.  Why else are we here, if not to connect to other humans and help make their lives easier?  If you think it’s too late, then it is for you.  But I’m going to keep on truckin’ as long as I can, got a lot of ground to cover in whatever time is left.


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