Little e has been fascinated with the art of grass growing lately. He came home a couple days ago with a tiny pot of some variation of wheat grass (I think). Honestly, I’m drawing a blank on it’s actual specie type (and the grower is snoozing at the moment); however, I couldn’t help but relate that tiny plant to life generally.
My mom called the other evening to share that upon asking little e what he had done at school the previous day he replied, “Watched grass grow” (with an added smirk). I feel like I’ve been watching grass grow for the past four years, a slow process, and once signs of development do occur they are small and fragile. A grass leaf isn’t exactly a sunflower stalk. As I learned from little e, though, it’s the process that brings all the pleasure. He explained to me today that the seeds are “very very small, mom, they almost can’t be seen” and they require “nurture and plenty of nutrients.” Then in all seriousness, my little e looked at me and said, “mom–do you think you can make sure my plant gets the nutrients it needs every single day, can you do that?” “Yes, I replied. I can do that.” So, here I am (amidst all my other million obligations) watering a two inch grass plant diligently. It sits on top of my toaster.
It’s so much like life, that grass plant (whatever the hell it is). It needs certain things (water, sunlight, safety), yet, it is resilient (we’ll find out just exactly how resilient in the coming weeks). It grows, gradually, just as we progress through life–gradually. In the end though, it will be something great. It will contain several leaves, each of its own distinctiveness, united together to create a beautiful whole. That’s what’s most poignant, the leaves of grass brought together create a beautiful landscape. Just as is life, each leaf, each experience, creates the beauty that is us.
Today my little e reminded me of Whitman’s “Leaves of Grass” and my favorite part:
“A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands; How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more than he.”