Category Archives: Writing process

Pen & Garden

My photographer friend told me that people who garden release hormones when their hands engage with the soil. So, I decided that taking a break from my novel to dig a bit was not only healthy, but necessary. So, yesterday I planted rosemary and lavender on the East side of the house. Though my lavender, chives and flourished on the North side of the house, they consumed the rosemary I planted there last year. I couldn’t find a sprig. It was as if it had dissolved during the long winter.

It’s complete disappearance gave me the excuse to garden, and enjoy the June morning. Being able to put one’s hands in the dirt, making friends with plants and trees is one of the sweetest joys of being alive. Connection with growing things enables one to understand the relationship we have with the earth better, as Gabriela Mistral recalls her interaction with nature during her youth in Poema de Chile(Poem of Chile, 1967):

Me tenía una familia

de árboles, otra de matas,

hablaba largo y tendido

con animales hallados

(I had a family of trees, and another of plants, and I talked and talked with the animals I found).

Today I’m off in search of more Rosemary plants to shore up my single one. We’ll see if all it needed was a bit of company to have it makes its home on the East side of the house. After that, I’ll root around in the novel a bit more.

J.R. Toriseva