There are a few wild asparagus plants scattered about at this spot near the bay. I check in on them often. Each year, they are always a surprise. Feathery and light, in summer they’re barely discernible in the marsh grass and beach rose, just a tall mirage of shimmering green. A couple of cedar trees stand sentinel nearby, acting as a wind block from the weather coming off the bay, trunks bent like bonsai.
In the 1930’s, almost 250 acres of Eastham was covered in asparagus beds; it’s said the nation’s best grew here. Generations later, their resilient offspring still dot the sands of Cape Cod, a connection to the past that continues to grow without the help or hand of man.
Today, these wild roots lie dormant as the marsh freezes and thaws with the tides. They’ll sleep until called forth by spring, by some secret whisper in the ground that wakes them. Above, the moon is waxing to its fullest, the first of the year. It is a bright light for the days and months ahead.
At home, my own garden rests while the winter birds chirp and thread through the yard; the feeders need constant filling. (I don’t mind.) I make mental note of the perennials that will resurface soon: chamomile, yarrow, hyssop, lavender…And the tender annuals and dye plants that will be started from seed once the time is right: coreopsis, indigo, calendula…But in the meantime, I’ve been playing with color from what’s available now, both in the dye pot and on paper. All of this in planning for the upcoming spring and summer seasons: new tutorials for you to try, workshops, plant-dyed linens. And once there’s enough to harvest, my plant-infused salve and oil will be back.
It feels good to make plans, to look ahead. There is a lightness in the air, even with the weight of winter and the past year on our backs.
Tonight, there is the Wolf Moon.
Soon, the ground will whisper its green secrets.