This year I planted one small mound of corn, beans and squash. I was encouraged to plant these by a dear friend who told me it would be helpful to me. And already, I find that this is true on many levels.
Though my mind tends to be naturally reflective and over analytical, it has developed more focus as it establishes new thoughts about my relationship with the mound. Obviously, one goal with the plants is for them to grow and bear more plants. So for them to do that, I need to do my part to help them. I have to do more than just hope that they grow - I have to be present and overcome whatever is ailing me to make sure that they are given the support that they need throughout their time of growing.
We started a relationship, these plants and I.
The planting experience has taught me that this isn’t going to be easy. It will be hard work. And it has also reminded me that I have a lot to learn about relationships but most of those things are fairly uncomplicated. For example, I realized I must find ways to keep myself helpful. In the early days when the future of the plant is unknown – I have to stay positive rather than negative that the plant will develop and grow. I have to send it warm green thoughts, filled with a mixture of love and enthusiasm. I want it to grow towards me too, to feel encouraged by how I treat it and to reciprocate.
In this middle stage this has meant reminding myself, that our relationship doesn’t end just because I physically planted the seeds. There is maintenance required. And this seems to be the hardest thing to commit to. When I wonder, as I sometimes do, why great initiatives or ideas struggle, follow through activities like ongoing maintenance always jump out at me. (That’s just one example of course).
A part of what brought on this post is that I have been doing some thinking and reading about matters of food and water and considering how important it is for me to have balance in my relationship with both. And so in that respect, this blog is a bit of a precursor to those posts.
But the other part is a discussion I had with a friend last week where he told me a story about the Three Sisters (corn, beans and squash) and we spoke at some length about language and indigenous knowledge. In many ways, it reinvigorated my commitment to the plants and my appreciation of my peoples understanding of the natural sciences. It also spiralled into this great evening of impromptu story telling.
So as these other thoughts about water and food continue to form, here is a special shout out of affection to the plants of the mound AAANNDD.....
this really cool retelling that another artist made. It's called, "Skátne Ronatehiaróntie; They Grow Together". Enjoy!