Ascending








This acanthus is growing in my front garden. I like that I inherited it from the previous owner of my home, or maybe the one before that. Several neighbours told me in my first spring here what to expect; huge spectacular flower spikes that last for weeks and weeks. I'm amazed it's so happy in soggy Manchester as it is native to the Mediterranean and North Africa. The leaves are thought by historians to have been the inspiration for the decoration of Greco-Roman architecture and are apparently embroidered into clothing worn by Helen of Troy. Truly woven into our human culture. 

Like all plants this acanthus is reaching for the sun, a star 150 million kilometres away from our home. Without the sun, there would be no life on Earth. Nurturing and growing is an everyday activity whilst simultaneously being an act of immense poignancy. I like this curious meeting of the domestic and the massive. We juggle the two every day, going through the motions, keeping things ticking over, whilst concurrently carrying thoughts about the bigger things in our head; life, death and the meaning of it all.

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