the underlying support

I have a confession to make.  I get really confused trying to decide between blue and indigo.  But this is going to be my photo for Blue this week as I follow along with Capturing Beauty‘s Rainbow challenge.  I was pretty pleased to actually locate anything blue at all in the victory garden.  Last night I was mulling it over as I fell asleep, and I decided I’d have to resort to a shot from the ground, showing the blue sky behind and above a particular plant.

And then the sky was an iron gray mass of swirling cloud when I awoke.

I was just ready to give up when I spotted this wooden trellis.  My little sister painted it bright blue a few years ago, when she planned to grow black-eyed Susan vine up it — but the drought intervened.  It has since weathered quite a bit.  The bottom portion has gotten so damp from sitting in the soil year after year that some slats are rotted away.  The whole thing has made a journey of a few hundred miles to get to where it sits today, supporting a riot of cardinal climber vines at the corner of our house in Seneca.

It’s amazing the things I take for granted in the garden.  Not much would be possible in such a small space without those unsung heroes, the support structures.  Making the best use of a limited space in the kitchen garden seems to require thinking along the vertical.  We’ve got quite a variety of supports this year:  bamboo poles, steel tomato cages, tee-pees made of dead branches,a foldable pea fence, runner bean frames made of found sticks and long, flexible roots, the iron banister on the edge of the porch steps.

And of course, nearly everything required a bit of biodegradable twine at some point along the way.  Maybe I should photograph that dwindling ball.  It’s practically the star of our little experiment.

In high school I wrote a two-page poem about scaffolding and a prose poem about watching a concrete foundation being poured.  Maybe in some ways I was wiser then.  Or more observant.  As an adult I’ve let these foundational things mostly fade into the background.  It’s so good to remember the structure beneath it all, or the things that allow a structure to emerge.  I’ve been so focused on the beauty of the cardinal climber vine, especially when the hummingbirds visit, that I’ve forgotten to honor the humble wooden trellis that supports the whole thing.

It has its own beauty; doesn’t it?

The sight of it calls to mind all those people who are supportive of me, who I usually take for granted.  I am supported all the time by so many beautiful people.  Remembering this truth makes me feel bouyed up by love.  And humbled.  And grateful.  And like I want to get out the stationery and write a few little notes right this minute.

I think I’ll go do that.  See you back here tomorrow for Indigo….

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