In the past week or so I’ve had the amazing experience of being bombarded with words. Not in a childhood game of dodgeball sort of way (though actually, that’s not an entirely bad suggestion, either) but more in the way that a soft spring rain falls and saturates once-parched ground. A description that feels accurate, poetic even, until I realize that makes me the once-parched ground. Ground that was dry. Cracked, even. Not lush or supple or productive.
Oof. I had forgotten what it was like to be surrounded with words – and not feel like I was drowning. I had forgotten what it was like to be immersed and soaked intentionally instead of sprinkled, watered haphazardly.
I have a number of houseplants, and while I claim to have a green thumb, my plants must be hardy because my attention to them is well, not. There were two ceiling hooks in place when we bought our house and one of the first purchases I made was plants in hanging basket for those hooks.
I look at them occasionally and think, “Wow, you, dear plants, are two years… three years… five years now in my care…”
Usually I just pour a bit of water on them. But that isn’t always enough. So other times I take them down and plop them into the sink drenching their roots, letting them drain, and then doing it again.
Being immersed in that way all the time isn’t good, either – the roots get mushy, the nutrients from the soil get washed away into the water. The plant sends distress signals and eventually will die if not allowed to dry out some.
But recently I felt the sensation of being drenched, immersed, watered thoroughly. Surrounded by well-spoken, thoughtful words. Writing that gets me lost in a different world. Conversations that remind me why I do what I do. And instead of coming in little after-though dribbles (Oh, I suppose I should water those plants, too.), the word-pool welcomed me with a quiet parting of words and my writing-roots, my word-roots drank thirstily.