Cuttings

The Power of Plants

ILLUSTRATION BY LINDA COOK DEVONA

When Linda Cook DeVona emailed me her beautiful art for Diana Wells’s fine “Look” essay this issue (p.14), she also sent me these words:

This drawing practically drew itself: Tennyson poems feel very personal for me. The day my Dad died, I was getting clothes from his dresser (I thought he’d be going to the Vet’s home the next day instead of exiting this earth). I found a 3×5 card in his top drawer with part of Tennyson’s “Crossing the Bar” on it, written in Dad’s distinctive jagged writing. A poem about dying, it concludes with “For tho’ from out our bourne of Time and Place/The flood may bear me far,/I hope to see my Pilot face to face/When I have crost the bar.”

I used it for his obituary and memorial service.

I believe so much that there are miracles all around us even in the midst of doubt, pain, and sorrow (and the confusing events the news brings us daily) if we but take the time to notice them. Today I went to have tea with a 90-year-old friend. As I was driving down the snowy road with whirlwinds of snow crossing my path, I passed the weathered milkhouse of a neighbor’s farm and remembered a stunning display of morning glories that grew up the wall there—a couple of decades ago! Then I remembered towering sunflowers that dwarfed another small house along with a riot of flowers that used to grow on a small triangle of land many years ago, before a house changed owners several times.

So plants have the power to transform thoughts even long after they have bloomed and gone. Hmm…just like some people we have known and loved.


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