I am feeling a kinship with underground lives, lately. I am thinking of the tubers and roots, bulbs and corms. Those that will push, emerge, and green in early spring into our sedums, milkweed, ferns, garlic, black-eyed Susans.

As I look for a metaphor to help me through this winter and through this fallow transition period in my life, my thoughts are with water in soil. How the ice crisps the surface of the soil then melts and percolates down. How the raindrops of dreary gray days find their way to permeate and slowly soak, down, down and down, deep into the ground. 

Along the way, this winter water nourishes lives we think of as dead but are not dead, just dormant. And not purely dormant because, like the bees emerging on a watery warm winter day, those plants hidden underground grow every chance they get. Slowly. Not steadily but in jerks and starts, as they freeze and thaw, cool and warm, sleep and awaken.

So my “one little word” for now is percolate. In my season of quiet and uncertainty I allow the water to filter down and soak me and soften me. I am quiet but receptive. I am not asleep, lazy or dead. I am preparing.

From garden know


8 thoughts on “Percolate

  1. Love the word choice…the untapped potential of it, the inherent patience in both the action and in you, the one who chose it. Where I live, the green is thirsty. When water abounds in one form or another, I think about that and am satisfied.


  2. Thank you for your one little word. It gives me hope. I’ve been feeling bad about the palms my husband and I planted at our beach house this summer that have browned and withered after 2 days of 20 degree temperatures. They and I need to percolate.


  3. I love how you poetically created the post around your word. And I am still amazed how the words arrive exactly as they are needed for different people.


  4. There is so much power in this word and in your slice. I love the last line; it is fierce and full of potential. I will take your words with me. Thank you.


  5. The writing in this piece, the word choice, the images, the science that is also art, is very powerful. I thank you for sharing it. I am in CA where we have been slammed by 10 large storms (“atmospheric rivers”) since just after Dec 25 and today, in the sunlight, saw those those dormant seeds and things just beginning to sprout. Now, instead of weeds to be cleaned up, I am thinking about them through your words in this piece.


  6. I’m not sure what delights me more, your OLW or the vivid language you bring us. I’m…going for the latter. The imagery of the wintry ground, which appears frozen, dead, inactive while in reality there’s filtering, flow, crystallization. WOW. I’m going to carry this image – and your word! – with me in my back pocket.


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