Thursday, May 29, 2014

Roots of mint

On the windowsill sits a small glass jar that recently held peppercorns.  I keep it there for the heartfelt plant offerings the boys carry inside with them from the yard.  Lamb's ear is always represented (it's soft like you Mommy).  Bright yellow flowers often make an appearance, too (I know they are weeds Mommy, but they are so beautiful).  Chive blossoms sometimes show up (it's pretty and you can eat it because you like the taste Mommy).  I kiss the sweaty heads and thank the boys for thinking of me.

One day a sprig of mint made its way into the jar.  I'm not sure who put it there, but when I looked a few days later I noticed it had sprouted roots.  I admire mint's ability to make a home wherever it is placed.  I imagine it spreading out a few tenacious roots and thinking, yep, this spot will do just fine.  Mint isn't going to wait around for the perfect paint color or new couch to complete a certain look.  Mint just sets about the business of making a space a home. With no fuss it spreads roots and starts growing.

I could learn a lot from mint.  The past year has been one of constant of change - new house, new baby and adjusting to being a family of five.  Change has always left me feeling unsettled and rootless.   We still have boxes in the garage and basement that are yet to be unpacked.  Most of our walls are unadorned and large sections of our new to us house seem temporary simply because we haven't had the time to make them our own.  In this way I have not been like mint.  I have waited for the perfect time to get started on making our house a home instead of just digging in right away.

In other ways, though, we've been very mint-like.  Only one (small) wall of our house may be painted, but we have made many memories in our new space.  Mornings of crafting.  Afternoons of puzzle building and Lego guy playing.  Walks around the new neighborhood looking for wormies on rainy days.  Plus we have begun planting our outdoor space and gardening always helps establish roots (literally and figuratively of course).

So with each small reminder of a rooted life that comes through my back door and lands in the little jar, I remember the mint and how it is at home wherever it lands.  I reflect on the little hands thrusting fistfuls of plants at me and realize this is the home we are all creating together.  This simple little jar on the windowsill contains roots that run deep.