Saturday, February 05, 2011

Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology)

It's Black History Month (I'm sure you have noticed the annual surfeit of media programming about African-Americans).  In celebration, for the first time in Urban Ecology history, I will be offering words from writers, poets, and essayists of African descent on nature, gardening, and mercy mercy me, the ecology.

Jamaica Kincaid
For the first offering, and in recognition that many of us are enduring a particularly difficult winter, an excerpt from My Garden by Vermont gardener and Antigua-born novelist Jamaica Kincaid:

I was putting the garden to bed for the winter when, looking over the empty spaces that had not so long ago been full of flowers and vegetables, I was overcome with the memory of satisfaction and despair, two feelings not unfamiliar to any gardener.  Satisfaction was seeing the tips of the asparagus poke through the earth, coming all the way up, wonderfully whole, real and without blemish, just the way they should be really, from the trenches into which I had placed their roots.  Even after many years of gardening, I never believe a live plant will emerge from the seed I have put in the ground; I am surprised, as if it had never happened to me before, as if every time were the first time.
Jamaica Kincaid, My Garden, 1999 Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, NYC, NY

1 comment:

  1. very nice. i always feel weird saying "we grew these" about anything from the garden. as if we had much to do with it. (and if we did, then did we fail to grow all the things that didn't make it? i'm not ready for that responsibility.)

    thank you for the reminder that spring will come.


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