This afternoon, while on my way from here to there, I stopped by a garden. With just a few minutes, I ran down the hill through the crown vetch and looked briefly to see what was growing. Cinquefoil, creamy yellow.
This garden, like so many Vermont gardens, is an edge garden, between a place of domestically cultivated flowerbeds, carefully tended, in the height of bloom, and just beyond this vegetable garden is a wetland with a lilypad-rich pond, where I’ve seen blue heron, deer, an eagle. Between one place and another, the edge is fertility, creation, growth, a joining of one place to another: bank to water, field to forest, sickness to health, fruit to decay. So, bending over, in two moments of quiet before I hurried back up the hillside to my daughters, I thought to pull a few weeds away from a cucumber plant, and found instead wild cinquefoil thrust over the seedling, so amazingly alive in this unpeopled place I withdrew my hand.
Instead, as I walked back, I snipped a few stalks of wildflowers. The edge is multi-layered, endlessly changing, the brilliant sunlight soon dimmed to night, harborer of sweet wild raspberries, leeches, box turtles and snapping turtles, toads the size of my thumbnail. Today, surrounded by those wildflowers tall as my elbows, I thought, Well enough. Let it be.
My daughter, at eleven
(almost twelve), is like a garden….
Oh, little girl,
how do you grow?
You grow this way.
You are too many to eat…..
– Anne Sexton