Scat

Wendy Johnson takes a closer look at what gets left behind.

Wendy Johnson

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A year ago I could not see across the thicket of the late spring garden, so dense was the tangle. Arched canes of heavily perfumed Ispahan roses looped over mounded beds of lime butter lettuce. The lettuce coiled in soft circles around plump cranberry beans just beginning to twine their way up stalks of Tarahumara sunflowers. In the heart of this May jungle I remembered a line from the poet and meditation practitioner Gretel Ehrlich: “Leaves are the verbs that conjugate the seasons,” she observed. Yet after more than thirty years of gardening in the din of this green babble I was mute in paradise, searching for a new way to parse and track the tangle all around me.

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