Friday, October 1, 2010

Free Friday: How Plants Grow

As October arrives today with its cooler weather and winter’s promise approaching, we tend to think that nature is starting its yearly hibernation; bare branches and brittle, barren stalks will soon abound; everything will appear lifeless, or simply asleep. Both may look the same in their stillness; that is why we lean in close as our babies sleep, listening to their breath, the breathing in and breathing out, reassuring us that all is as it should be.

Winter is when our Mother Earth breathes in, so it is difficult to tell exactly what is happening inside her, until she breathes out again in springtime, revealing once again an effluence of loveliness. All the botanical science in the world does not take away the magic and majesty of that breath. I am glad to live in a region where we see the seasons so distinctly.

For Free Friday this week, I offer for your free use in projects, a favorite image of mine, a wood engraving from the 1858 book, How Plants Grow from the Botany for Young People series by Harvard Professor, Asa Gray, M.D. The text for Figure 41 reads, “The acorn with the seedling Oak growing from it; the seed-leaves remaining in the shell, but feeding the strong root which grows downwards and the stem which shoots so vigorously upwards.”

Give the image a click or two to download the hi-res file. We are all sowing seeds of one sort or another.

1 comment:

  1. Michael, I love this analogy. So beautiful! It made me remember those first days home from the hospital with my babies watching them sleep and always checking to make sure they were breathing. Precious moments.
    Thank you for sharing, you're an amazing writer.
    -Jenny

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