How to Learn Everything

“Between little jokes like “size does matter… in a garden,” Finley slips in an entire philosophy of being in the world. He describes building a relationship to plants as a way of connecting to one’s body, one’s environment, to life itself. Learning to care for plants, he says, is a way to learn to care for yourself. As he shows how to loosen the roots of a nursery plant or divide a sprouted sweet potato, Finley calls attention to the creative force deep inside all living things. “Plants want to grow, they wanna live, they wanna thrive,” he says, and I’m enchanted by the potential of survival he sees in a part of life I had wholly overlooked. I can’t remember looking at a plant and not seeing a future reproach.”

Longreads, August 2020