We arrive at the height of raspberry season. Great Aunt Helen beams at us from the front stoop, her toothy smile at once knowing and mischievous. A feisty five-foot-three, hers was a force to be reckoned with. Our family’s annual expedition to Pentictonsix long hours on the windy, river-hugging roadpromised water slides, lakeside fireworks and long, lazy days under the radiant Okanagan sun. And yet, my fondest memories belong to Aunt Helen’s charming turquoise home and garden of towering sunflowers and immaculate rosebushes. …
In the brave world of new media, the technological jungle is full of digital snares and Facebook leeches. The clear path is hard to find. Distraction is as ubiquitous as termites in a termite mound. Advertisements wave at you like cute squirrel monkeys frolicking in the foliage that turn out to be howler monkeys in disguise. Amidst a constant din of spam and the glow of screens, finding clarity is a struggle.
I strive to find that clarity. I don’t own a cell phone. I delete chain emails and adorable kitten photos sent by well-meaning friends. In the jungle ecosystem, there are far too many links and relationships to follow, and each one that I explore has the potential to keep me from the creative pause, that realm of stillness and imagination that provides the foundation for my creativity. …
Once upon a city, where pinkies are polished, acrylic nails clack keyboards, and thumbs thumb intangible texts, touch is plastic, digital, artificial.
Now upon the lands, my fingers find the earth below our busy feet. The fine hair of roots, the symmetrical teeth of leaves, the cool scent of photosynthesis. Digits dig into fertile dirt, where bulbs are birthed and rhizomes rise. My palms hold the rich blood of Mother Earth. The work is raw and tactile, viscous and resonant with ancestral toil and sweat. Each cut and scrape is a needed reminder that our veins are filled by Her. Her bones of clay and skin of grass, scarred by machine and blade, craves the touch that too many fingers have forgotten.
My hands start to remember, what the deep roots, the supple stems, the green blades and infinite seeds and spores already know.
My hands remember.