We may be more attracted to flowers, but it is the seed, fully formed, that sustains us. We eat the fruit and the seeds. The flowers are just an attractor toward the goal of fertilization. It’s what comes next that propagates life – both of the plants, and our own.
It is that time of the summer when the flowers are giving way to swollen fruits below. The filaments wither, the petals fall away, and the flesh starts to form.
It is a far less photogenic time in the garden, when the fruit is not yet appreciable but the plants have run ragged like so many tired and collapsed Rockettes in a heap after a big show. The magic has turned inward now, not for our eyes.
I am watching the gourds, okra, corn, tomatoes, persimmons, hard peaches, squash, tomatillos, pomegranate, and amaranth – each of them already set in fertility and now investing its energies not into new flowers, but into maximizing the chances for the seeds to come, building up reserves around them.
This is the bounty that we will steal, systematically, to make our own lives.
Even the weeds are in beautiful dehiscence. Seeds are forming everywhere.