Sustain: plants & poetry

Our January 11th new year’s online workshop was bittersweet. One of our team is suffering from Covid, but we sent him our positive healing thoughts and felt energized by sharing about our plants and indoor gardens. Demetria showed us the beautiful wild seeds she has been collecting, such as the sweet gum tree seeds which are spiky and strange-looking and apple seeds. Lia talked about how she brought a cutting from a mini monstera plant to our December 18 event at Unity Park and gave it to Sonja. Sonja showed us that the mini monstera cutting is thriving in water and starting to root. Phillip told us about the plants he is growing in the basement with the growlight that was provided to workshop participants. Lala showed us the gorgeous sprouts she is growing from dry beans she purchased at the supermarket. She adds them to salads and sandwiches.

We did a little breathing and grounding exercise where we imagined our fingers were roots and tapped them over our face and brain and tapped our shoeless feet on the ground to connect to the earth. There was ASL and closed captioning provided. Tablets and internet have also been provided to some of our participants to enable access to Zoom workshops.

We did a short drawing session to sketch the plants, seeds, and roots that we had just seen and discussed. We then wrote a poem about renewal in the new year, inspired by the plants we have seen today and especially the cutting that has gone from Lia to Sonja and is starting to grow anew. Some of my favorite lines were “water me with your love’ (Rashika Johnson), “to take root in a new way of life” (Philip Mecham) and “expanding roots… unfurling a gorgeous display” (Lala Forbes. The completed poems will be posted later.

We will meet again on February 3 and before that we will be receiving cuttings in the mail from herbalist/artist Geo Edwards, including the Cuban oregano plant and African bitterleaf, both of which have healing properties.

-Monica Jahan Bose, January 19, 2022

Sonja showing one of her plants.

Breathing and Imaging our bodies one with nature and plants.
Drawing exercise.

Rashika sharing a great idea about possible outdoor gardening spaces in Anacostia.

Rashika Johnson’s poem.

Sonja’s Mini Monstera cutting, received from Lia.

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