|Licorice mint (Agastache rupestris)|
Just because you're not moving, that doesn't mean you're resting. You might even be lying on a comfy sofa, but reclining isn't the same as relaxing. Instead of feeling the tension melting out of your neck and shoulders, your muscles softening, jaw slackening, mind drifting, as you float one easy breath away from sleep, you could be gathering your resources for some course of action—planning a new project, nagging yourself about an old one, debating possibilities, thinking through ways and means.
And missed. (Vague stupors 1 - Math problems 0.)
Likewise, drag racers at the start line may just be sitting there, but they're not idling. Their engines are revving up, roaring like Sir Marley only wishes he could. When the starting signal flicks from amber to green, off they go like a shot, burning rubber all the way. (And that's everything I know about drag racing.)
|Blue flax (Linum lewisii)|
At least where gardening is concerned (and in this climate, where the ground doesn't freeze), I've stopped thinking of winter as the dormant season—the gathering season is more like it. Just because the garden isn't leafing and budding, that doesn't mean that it's at rest. Winter is a time for plants to draw resources together, to build them up bit by bit, to rev up the power and get it humming, so that when spring comes, bam! They can take off like a shot.
Those tiny leaves at the base of the licorice mint and the flax are the botanical equivalents of a cat's back feet. They haven't begun twitching yet—the plants are still doing the math problems, measuring the angle of the sun and the hours of daylight, calculating chlorophyll-to-carbohydrate ratios, plotting their growth trajectories—but in another few weeks, they'll begin in their own motionless, mysterious way, to gather themselves together for the pounce.
Meanwhile, I'm sitting here surrounded by gardening books, old catalogs, and internet printouts doing my own plotting and planning. Don't think my feet aren't starting to twitch.
Mine aren't the only ones...