I think it is time to plant the cotton and indigo seeds ...

hannah asked me to write about growing.

the calendar that i have been born into tells me it is ‘spring equinox’ today.

my fingers -


cracked and


tell me that last week i was planting beans, broccoli, tomatoes, lettuce.


i suppose with some sort of faith that they would grow.

and, also, knowing that this was not inevitable. learning, in fact, that it was not inevitable those fingers who planted them would be the fingers who ate them.


and so – with things being put in the soil my mind turns to ground. to earth. to bedrock.

from the south west of these celtic isles, i wonder about the land we find ourselves on and discover that this ground is one of the most geologically varied parts of the uk. in as much as bristol has tapestried itself throughout the last fifteen years of my life, weaving its histories into my own in a very small way, the rocks that hold us in this corner of the earth date to nearly every period of the earth’s history. we are growing from an ancient and recycling tapestry of stone, human and water histories.


there’s the kind of growth that derives its knowledge from counting, from getting bigger, from getting more.


there’s the kind of growth that – given the right amount of water and sunlight – sort of expands more fully into itself. in a way it takes up more space. but in a way it doesn’t, because it might contain within its expansion an innate willingness to feed life. think about the beans. 

the proto indian european root of the word grow, ghre can be translated as ‘to become green’. i like this kind of growing: the kind that is alive.


no small wonder then when a bean finds its way into my fingers towards some earth and – all willing – into the mouth of she who loves the garden. or an indigo seed finds its way into the fingers of the dzao hand who tends to this one that it might make blue something beautiful that i wear on the rock tapestry of bristol.



 Sophie Burns 


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