Happy August! Wow it's really August and we are already at the mid-point of the Flower CSA season. There is a point in the growing season that reminds of my days in Washington's North Cascades pondering alpine glacial geology while collecting native plant seed for restoration education projects with the National Park Service. We would be along the trails seed collecting Elymus glaucous (blue wild rye) and a slough of floral friends. Now and then I would stretch my back and shift my gaze from soil to skyline. The glaciers would 'sit poised' when viewed from a distance, like a well fed cat, cool and contented on its perch.
That such a mass of ice, could just 'hang out' along a 60 plus degree slope without an ensuing avalanche is a marvel. In geologic speak, this point is known as the angle of repose – the steepest angle at which a sloping surface, (in the case of glaciers ice) formed of a particular loose material is stable. It's a marvel that an icy mass of material withstands gravity at such an angle--that such stillness from a distance—can mask all the movement taking shape, giving form to the Earth upon closer viewing.
In the botanical sphere of your flower farm, there is a similar angle of repose, usually around late-July, the heart of the dog days, wherein all that dogged energy put into growth and tending to flowers and fruit, simultaneously seems to both burst in movement and stand still. I've learned to not fight this tension, but to try and find stability, surrender and ride out what took shape early on in the season and help bring the harvest to fruition.
This landscape mirrors your bouquet. There's a bit of negotiating with shape, space, and inward/outward energy, priorities start to fine tune, and I try to make space for celebrating the points in between.
With this week's bouquets, maybe you noticed the push/pull, inward/outward movements from planting to harvest taking shape in your flowers, maybe by now you've even started to notice a pattern or style of bouquet that I am drawn to sharing with you.
Maybe you've noticed that I have a special love of circuitous shapes and find stability in spirals.
No wonder this week I am drawn into sunflowers' overlapping concentric spirals. All that movement in such a poised silhouette of composite rays orchestrated in sync with the sun. The sunflower seed patterns contain a hidden mathematical rule shaping the patterns of life. Known as Fibonacci sequence, a set in which each number is the sum of the previous two. If you count the many sunflower spirals, you will always find a Fibonacci number (ex: 0,1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34, 55...). Historically, the sunflower was revered as a symbol of the riches and richness of the world, bringing cheerfulness, direction, and empowerment to all who bathed in her rays.
Whatever points of tension and stability take shape for you over the summer months, may your gaze follow the direction of sunflower stillpoints. May you find time to daydream, wander and surrender to the spiral path of sunflowers' rays in your bouquets. To me this is the quintessential angle of botanical repose, mid-summer on your flower farm.
Thanks so much for your support and enjoy your flowers - ES -