The Three Sisters

“I love the future when I water my garden,” muses the Traveler, hose in hand.

Robin Wall Kimmerer teaches of the Three Sisters: corn, beans, and squash. Planted together in early May, these three veggies grow well in close proximity and form the core of indigenous agriculture.

“I continue to love it. I continue to long for it and lean toward it,” admits the Traveler. “I welcome it without apology, despite what comes to pass.”

“Mmmm,” replies the Narrator, savoring the taste of a tomato. “As do I.”

“I love it and open myself toward it,” continues the Traveler, eyes closed, recalling futures past, “as when I open my heart and mind to the sounds of Sons of Kemet’s Black to the Future and Emma-Jean Thackray’s Yellow.”

Narrator places an arm ’round Traveler’s shoulders, leans close and whispers Prufrock-style, “Let us go then, you and I.” He smiles, pats the Traveler’s shoulder, and steps away. “But first, another of these lovely tomatoes.”

Tuesday June 1, 2021

We buy varieties of veggies and herbs plus a blackberry bush and a fig tree from a local nursery. Seedlings, mostly, though also some packets of seed. With a bit of digging, we plant these. With a bit more, I unearth several classic Blue Note jazz LPs on CD in the bins at Goodwill: Sonny Rollins’s A Night at the Village Vanguard, Freddie Hubbard’s Hub-Tones, and John Coltrane and the Thelonious Monk Quartet’s Live at the Five Spot: Discovery! Welcome additions, all.

Monday May 31, 2021

“Planning” rather than “policy.” Planning is people power. All of us can plan. Fred Moten and Stefano Harney draw this distinction in their book The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study. Planning means learning about vegetables that grow in heat, as we’re planting late here at the start of June. Sweet potatoes, peppers, sunflowers. Zucchini and summer squash. Okra, green beans, eggplants, cucumbers, tomatoes, mustard greens, spinach, corn, and Swiss chard. Other vegetables will fare best if we plant them later, at summer’s end. Radishes, for instance. Carrots.