A Close Call

This morning, at my desk, trying (or pretending) to write, I was looking at the fronds and pondering the fact that this whole time what I’ve really been doing is carrying around a pot of soil. The fronds themselves are a tiny fraction of the weight of this object, or concrescence of objects. The soil is what requires holding level, a carefulness to avoid dislodging. It holds moisture and warmth from the sun. The soil is what enables the fronds to hold space in this world. Yet, like anything different from me when I stop to think about it for long, the soil remains a total mystery, I have only been seeing its surface, and am ignorant of what microorganisms it contains, its chemical properties, its history.

Well, be careful what you wish for. Not long after, I picked up the fronds from my desk, one smooth movement, my arm following the momentum of my body already turned towards the hallway…lifting up in a smooth arc until… stop! The handle of fronds’ bag caught on the corner of the desk and turned my upwards momentum all sideways and down, and all of a sudden, as I took a sharp intake of breath, the soil was making itself known across my keyboard and through my pens and ancient sticky USBs and scribbled notes.

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After a pause to take stock it seemed the fronds were mostly intact. Some hair-like roots (which I’ve been so curious about) were poking out at strange angles, unclear who they belonged to. The soil under Honesty seemed more held together, which may mean they have more extensive roots. I carefully swept up the soil and nestled it back in around the plantlets, gently pressing down to firm it again. They look a little ruffled, but otherwise at least superficially ok. Time will tell whether they are as resilient as I hope they are.

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Speaking of resilience and disturbance, I have been working on planning a demonstration at the local Commonwealth Bank branch to request them to rule out funding or transacting with Adani to build the proposed Adani Carmichael mine in Queensland. I think the fronds have been an influence in reminding me how deeply I care for this world, and motivating me to take action to protect it. I was in fact, imagining them joining me at the action, and when our upset occurred I was going to look for a twig for the mini placard I had made them.

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Just as the fronds have just made it through a difficult disturbance, hopefully we (as a species, a planet), can build resilience and strength to make it through the challenges we are currently faced with. Hopefully we can act to address our mistakes and be response-able citizens of this planet.

Meanwhile, yesterday, we did some shed building with Dad.

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And I inoculated some logs with shiitake mushroom spawn (logs cut from a roadside eucalyptus which dad planted over ten years ago, grown from seed by a friend). Growth and decay- both powerful forces to work with if we pay close enough attention.

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2 thoughts on “A Close Call

  1. Love the placard idea of fronds against Adani! And the shift in you towards activism for the earth. Ouch to spillage. As the soil ( x2. I had to correct this from soul) moved throughout your desk/ computer, any insights?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hmm well at the time there were not so many insights, more of an instinct to scoop it up quickly and pretend that it never happened! I had a slight curiosity to look at the revealed roots- I had been pondering wanting to know them but the impossibility of doing that without harming them. But also a feeling that I was seeing things I wasn’t meant to be seeing, an urgency to protect them. Tiny crumbs of soil have lingered (I think I can still see one on my keyboard), a trace, a physical memory of my clumsiness.


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