Tending The Family Tree

by Zoe Pollock


As spring takes root, Dahlia Lithwick contemplates her mother’s green thumb:

I don’t shiver in anticipation at the thought of splitting tubers or transplanting peonies, as my mother does. She reminds me what it is to be of the earth and to fight for the Earth, not by way of bumper stickers and committee meetings and petitions, but by just planting and tending and weeding and never giving up on even a broken bit of spider plant. I see that in my son now, too—happy with dirt in his green rubber boots and a watering can and a watermelon seed. When I go to visit my parents, my first stop is my mother’s garden. When his lonely plant goes yellow at the edges, my son asks to put in a call to his grandparents. The earth and the garden have rooted us all to one another when nobody was looking. We cultivate our garden and let life take it from there.

(Photo: From the series Flora by Egill Bjarki via Amanda Gorence)