I didn’t know that Voles ate onions. I stepped out the garage door each morning to see the brilliant green tops to my onions shrink from 12, to 10, 8,7, 5 inches. Or had I just been intoxicated with the thought of spring’s growth and imagined their height? No. They were shrinking – being sucked through the gently tended soil from beneath – the roots and green wickedly … hahaa, o.k. not wickedly, but hungrily, snatched from maturity where they would have then ended up in my cast iron dutch oven, with olive oil, sea salt, and likely, jalapenos. Fajitas more or less.
I love the critters. I donated an entire garden to them this year. Except for the two small planters on the deck containing 3 tomato plants, basil, a pepper plant, and edible flowers, the green beans, corn, lettuce and delicate greens (oh the rabbits were especially grateful – so much so they birthed additional babies to enjoy the buffet) all went the way of feeding the wildlife. I know how to attend to a garden but this year’s bounty was up for grabs. I planted with full knowledge I wouldn’t be as available to find solutions to whatever challenge might arise in this season’s garden. I needed to set up Anima Arts studio.
Actually, this year I benefit from the bounty of friends’ gardens – the endless and welcome bags of tomatoes and jalapenos from Shorty’s garden, sweet Patty Pan squash with Banana peppers from Paul, green beans, corn and asparagus – I’m as fortunate a vegetable recipient as my garden critters. So this leaves me with more time to pull papers from the Gelli plate.
In my studio of gathering, rather than gather people during this season of the virus, I gather papers to be used for collage. It’s just about the sweetest balm – this collaboration with chance in paint and paper. The explorations in mark making also to be used in collage, is my near second favorite time spent with paint, ink, pens…
There are other gifts in this unexpected season of closed doors. No matter our challenge, we each have blessings – something or someone in our lives we can adore and appreciate. We can allow this quality of loving appreciation to nourish us and the world around us. Of equal importance is the offering of appreciation for that which no longer exists – the world we knew or thought we knew. Our solitude provides us with the opportunity to connect with deeper aspects of ourselves – trustworthy internal knowing after clearing some weeds. We now have a choice to embrace a change we don’t fully understand – to then open the door. If we nourish the essence of what’s precious and of true worth, the new beginnings will be worth the opening.