Weeding the raspberries has been one of my main projects this past week. We were blessed by some late rains – rain in June is rare here – and I want to make sure the raspberries get the lion’s share of that water. The grasses, wild lettuce, and yellow dock in the raspberry beds had gotten to three feet tall. Matching the raspberries! So, time for me to weed them out, adding mulch in the places where it has gotten thin. All of this is happening because I like eating homegrown raspberries – and because the world never holds still. In spite of the grammatical structures I have to use here, we live not in a noun, but in a verb.
When I think about all the processes taking place in my raspberry patch, I find it staggering. The raspberries themselves are engaged in who knows how many chemical, biological, and physics reactions at any one moment. Photosynthesis. Growth. Assimilation. Digestion. Transportation of sap and nutrients. Breathing. Add to that all the same types of processes going on in the soil, in the weeds, and in me. Add the movement of air and atmosphere. The cycling of night and day. We do not live in/on some static thing. We live in, as part of, a moving, flowing expression of energy, light, and information.
I’m not really weeding a raspberry patch. I’m tweaking an active exchange of energy and matter. I am a fairly (but not completely) stable pattern of energy, light, and information engaging with other relatively stable patterns. Thinking of it this way, my whole experience shifts. The raspberries and the weeds and I all become part of an endless cycle of transformation, playacting an experience of solidity. I eat a raspberry, and as I do a mosquito eats a bit of me. A bird or bat eats the mosquito, then leaves a dropping in the raspberry patch. A small cycle of transformation embedded in bigger cycles.
Because the world is a verb, there will never be a point when we’ve gotten everything done. Mulch will be digested and become soil. New seeds will germinate. The action is never-ending.
Fun Raspberry articles:
- Raspberries: Natures Candy on the Vine (gardeningnirvana.wordpress.com)
- Celebrate raspberries with this recipe (celebrategreen.net)