Planting, Nurturing, and Harvesting: the Essayist's Work
The semester is over, grades are submitted, and I'm back from my travels. Now, I'm looking forward to spending the next three months gardening and essaying, two activities that go together so nicely. In his essay, "In Other Words: Gardening for Love -- The Work of the Essayist," G. Douglas Atkins explains the link: "Constituted by movement, the essay is related to the cycles of nature, rooted by an awareness of the ebb and flow of life constructed in accordance with seasonal change, planting seeds here, carefully nurturing saplings there, harvesting at some point, lying peacefully limp and fallow at another. It paces, but the essay also knows about pace, how to pace itself. Probably thought of most often as an autumnal, even mature creature, the essay is not always bursting with life it is true; yet, it is alive, redolent of the stages and processes of natural growth and the life cycle."
And so, I revise a couple of paragraph, head out to the backyard to plant kale and coreopsis or to water and weed, and return to my desk for more planting, nurturing, and harvesting.