Rising again

I have a clematis vine in my back yard that fell off its trellis during a windstorm this past spring and was a big pile of purple flowers on the ground for weeks because it didn’t seem to mind and I didn’t want to bother tying it back upright. Reggie liked to hang out behind it in the shade of the fence on hot days.

I let it finish its blooming cycle, then cut the whole thing off at ground level and tossed it in the trash. Ruthless, I know.

Two months later, that vine is re-establishing itself nicely on the trellis, perhaps with a firmer grip this time.

Also surviving being decapitated is a fugitive rose growing in the protective shadow of a plant it knows I generally leave alone. I don’t like roses and have removed all traces of them from the back yard. Except this one.

I’m impressed that these plants keep coming back in spite of my efforts. I suppose if I were serious about removing them, I’d use a shovel. Maybe I like seeing them come back.

A friend of mine used to live along a small river in Oregon that massively flooded in 1996. Her entire garden was washed away, and we walked through a field of nothing but mud that had once been a fertile and productive plot of land. In particular, a large grape arbor was torn away entirely, not a stem or leaf to be seen. But only one year later, that entire arbor had grown back again, as full and lush as if it had been richly fertilized (which it actually probably had been) rather than cut down to the stumps. I remember thinking at the time that anything that has its roots in the ground will rise again because the impulse to live and to find the sun is irrepressible.

True of a simple plant like a clematis and true as well, I hope, of myself as I struggle to find my own way back into the light and grow ever upward into what I am meant to be.

Being fully alive is really just a matter of knowing who (and what) you truly are.


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