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Maintaining Your Childlike Sense of Wonder



I frequent one particular gardening forum, and I hesitate to post at times, because I realize some of my posts are sort of silly to serious gardeners. I post about getting excited over cuttings rooting or seeds shooting up, but I am so in awe of nature that I just get excited about the tiniest things.

My grandmother was my gardening guru, and she taught me to never take anything for granted, and always be thankful for what nature gave you. She always got excited when the wild violets started blooming, because she could put them into salads or make medicinal syrup with them. She made tea from the leaves and made us drink it as a tonic. I didn't learn until later how many wonderful medicinal properties they had.

My grandmother had a reverence for plants that I've only seen in Native Americans. She would spend a lot of time trying to save an ailing plant, and would bury it reverently when it died, telling me to never put sick plants in the compost pile. I carry that reverence for nature with me to this day, and it's the reason I became a Pantheist.

I remember her gathering seeds from wild mustard and explaining to me what a blessing a mustard plant was because it provided greens in the summer and seeds in the fall to make mustard with and put into pickles. She always let the wild mustard stay wild, scattering some seeds here and there along the path to her house. She did that with all sorts of wildflowers and wild plants. In the summer, when we visited, I couldn't wait to go see if her seeds came up. They always did.


I had a gorgeous Christmas cactus a few years ago that started to die here during a particular wet summer. I tried so hard to save it, but it just didn't seem to want to live. I ended up with two leaves of it that I managed to keep alive. One grew into a nice sized piece, but that too started to die and resisted every attempt I made to save it. Now I again have two leaves I managed to save. I had the hardest time getting them to put out any roots at all, but finally, they took and settled into their pot. This morning, I noticed that one leaf has a baby leaf sprouting out of the top, and you would think I had won the lottery I was so excited!

Yesterday, on the garden forum, I posted pictures of two plants I had grown from cuttings that were doing well. I thought later than I shouldn't have done it, because no one was likely interested, so this morning, when I found my new leaf on my struggling Christmas cactus cuttings, I didn't post it. I came here instead and wrote this post.

I noticed yesterday that the wild violets are starting to bloom, and I thought about my grandmother. I wished she was here so I could show her my tiny new leaf and have her tell me how wonderful it was. My mother would have done the same. I miss them both so much, because I don't have anyone around me that still has that childlike sense of wonder that makes them excited about such things.


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