I’ve been lucky to spend a lot of time in the garden lately, where I victoriously harvested 6 whole green beans yesterday, after defending them from bunnies and groundhogs and deer.
In getting closer to all sorts of plants, I’ve learned a lot more about roots. Some are shallow and easily disturbed, like the green beans. Some are deep but singular, like Queen Anne’s Lace or dandelions. And some are full of surprises, vigorous and resilient: mint has escaped into my yard, wild thyme carpets the field, and false indigo springs up yards and yards from where the original was planted.
This week I had the chance to see some of my own roots on display. I have been nominated for the Board of Overseers at Harvard, and in spreading the word about elections a few wonderful developments ensued. Many allies have emerged, and beyond that, generous and encouraging advocates. Though I attended the smallest school at the University in the middle of my life, it turns out my roots are both deeper and wider than I realized.
This all has me reflecting more generally on the nature of our roots, ties of kinship and friendship and community that run below the surface of our lives. Some friendships are like the wild indigo, sprouting up surprisingly, far from the original. Some are like dandelions, stretching so deep that they will come back even when the surface is disturbed. And some are like the wild thyme, spreading bit by bit across time and space in a great connected web.
Dear ones, on this weekend of reflection for the United States, let’s take a moment to examine our roots. Which connections are surprising us? Which have stood the test of time? Which are mostly quiet, but hold us up in our time of need?
In this strange time, full of disruption, it is a great comfort to know that under the surface, our roots still hold fast.
* If you happen to have Harvard ties — please vote if you are an alum of any part of the University, and please consider spreading the word to friends so that turnout is as representative as possible. This is a vital time for all institutions, and for our world, and I would be honored to bring my cumulative life experience to this role. You can read more about the election process here.
* And, we are expecting the proof copies for Month of Sundays to arrive this week! A few final edits and it will be launched out into the world… just in time for our summer reading stacks.