Gnosis Diary: Life as a Heathen

My personal experiences, including religious and spiritual experiences, community interaction, general heathenry, and modern life on my heathen path, which is Asatru.

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Second Chance Tree Seedling

All gifts from the gnome are precious, but there is something very special about being given a second chance at a gift that I didn't manage to keep going the first time. (As long time readers of this blog may know, I call the land wight of my land the gnome because that's what he wants to be called. A few years ago I blogged about being given mimosa tree seedlings by the gnome, to my delight.)

I love the mimosa tree which I grew from seed. It shades the south side of the house. It's blooming right now and it smells wonderful. A few years ago it made some seedlings which I tried my best to carefully nurture, hand watering them, and periodically cutting the chives and parsley that kept growing close enough to shade them or block the sprinkler or just generally overwhelm the tiny little trunks.

The parsley forest grows fast and spreads everywhere. They say parsley is hard to grow and that if someone has parsley in her yard she's certainly a witch. Well then. Ahem. 

Anyway the place where the little seedlings were growing would be a fantastic location for a full grown tree, but it turned out that tiny seedlings kept needing help in order to keep the parsley from out-competing them. I usually cut parsley often anyway to put in salads and whatnot and to share with friends, so it's not usually that big of a deal to keep it cut back. 

Last winter when I hurt my ankle and was supposed to keep completely off of it I couldn't keep tending them. I had people helping me do stuff but I only managed to get help with things that I could explain without demonstrating, or which I could still help with if I used the crutches or the wheelchair that I had from my previous knee injury, like cleaning the pool (which still got away from me and I'm still trying to get under control.) I usually had to step over the garden bottle wall and stand in the parsley bed to tend to the seedlings and it just was not practical to try when I had been ordered to stay completely off the ankle. I felt that it would be too hard to explain to someone how to weed little chive sprouts away from the literally smaller than a toothpick winter-bare stems of the seedlings without risk of them pull up the seedlings themselves, without actually being able to show them what to do or stand where I would need to be to show them the seedlings, so I just hoped they would be ok. As soon as I was allowed to put weight on my ankle again I started trying to do all my usual stuff again although it was difficult (don't get me started about why it took them 3 and a half weeks to decide and didn't give me any supports for it in the meantime and just said to stay completely off of it-- I'm trying to keep the topic of this blog focused on the spiritual aspects of my life.) I fell in early February and was allowed to start trying to walk again around the beginning of March. Spring came after, and with it, leaves sprang from the mimosa tree.

When the mimosa tree leafed out, the 3 year old seedlings didn't. In May, when the mimosa tree bloomed, they were still bare. They didn't make it. :( I was sad about that.

BUT!! I discovered a brand new seedling!!!! Really new, it still had its pusher leaves, as you can see in the photo. This time the seedling is protected as a houseplant. If it gets big enough it can go in the ground then. Just like its mom tree, which I grew in a pot in my apartment and planted in the ground when I moved in here.  I'm not going to make the same mistake again. I got another chance! I'm doing things a better way this time. It's not only going to be easier to take care of as a houseplant because the parsley won't keep trying to grow over it, but if I ever need someone else to take care of it again, I can just ask them to water the houseplants. That's easy to explain. No special garden knowledge needed. In fact, my helpers already did water the houseplants for me this February, and the plants were fine.

Someday this new mimosa tree seedling might be planted in the ground here, to shade the house like its mother tree. Who knows, though? By the time it's ready, I might not be here. The future will take care of itself, and I, and whosever help I might need in the future, will take care of the mimosa seedling. I will do my best to nurture it and help it grow.

Image: a seedling with three normal leaves, one on top and two on the sides, and two fading pusher leaves below the normal leaves. Photo by Erin Lale

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Erin Lale is the author of Asatru For Beginners, and the updated, longer version of her book, Asatru: A Beginner's Guide to the Heathen Path. Erin has been a gythia since 1989. She was the editor and publisher of Berserkrgangr Magazine, and is admin/ owner of the Asatru Facebook Forum. She also writes science fiction and poetry, ran for public office, is a dyer and fiber artist, was acquisitions editor at a small press, and founded the Heathen Visibility Project.


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