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I speak to my plants when Iím watering them or weeding them. I babble to them, I prize them, I complain, I encourage them to fight for life when they are in bad shape. And they respond in their own way, Iím sure. Take, for instance, that datura on the photos below. When I arrived in late June, it was a weed (datura is a native plant on the island of Brač) by one of our laurel plants; it had only three or four small leaves. Well, it was a weed but I didnít compost it, I transplanted it to the bare grounds (reserved for the future vegetable garden). I have a "natural" weakness for daturas as they were among my motherís favorable flowers.

I took a good care of the plant, communicating a lot. By late July it was already a small blossoming bush (upper photo) and now, in mid-September, it dominates the grounds with an impressive blossom (lower photo).

Thereís something very important to me about having a kind of relationship, with plants and animals, that can be transacted wholly without language. The warmth of oneís body is a form of communication. The stroke of oneís hand is a means of communication. In the garden those forms are heightened. I have a tendency when Iím walking in the garden to brush the flowers as I go by, anticipating the fragrant eloquence of their response. I get a sense of reciprocity that is very comforting, consoling.

There are forms of communication beyond language that have to do not only with the body, but with the spirit itself, a permeation of oneís being.

Stanley Kunitz, with Genine Lentine: The wild braid, A poet reflections on a century in the garden, Norton & Co., New York, 2005.

datura on Grabov Rat : Jul 29, 2006

datura on Grabov Rat : Sep 14, 2006

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