Long before the garden is born and thriving,
you must in earnest court the land;
nothing grows well or strong without relationship;
therefore, you must meet and honor all her relations:
sun, wind, water, shade, trees, terrain, and insect;
observe their exchange in every season,
for all is reciprocal.
Who are her neighbors?
Learn their substance and character.
You must understand all her hidden moods,
her acid and alkaline tendencies,
her microbial and annelid content,
but also her appetite and yearning for enrichment,
her thirst, her limits, the answers she may give to your questions,
the ways she has suffered, her maladies,
and how she may be healed. Reveal yourself
wholly and humbly; tell the stories
that have led to this wild, desired, and essential intimacy.
Unshroud your soul, damaged, mending, and like hers,
bending to light; say you are an artist seeking transformation
in alliance with her rounded dance
of eruption, reduction, return, and mystery.
Speak your promise to nurture and tend;
speak not of yields but of mutual growth,
and offerings of joyful sustenance,
one to the other.
All this, all this, before you kneel,
before you gently touch
and ready her for seed,
before you imagine flowers and fruit,
you enter fertile years
of shared abundance and love.
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