Bonsai Liberation

On this particularly stressful election day, I find myself thinking about small, everyday acts of resistance. Here is a silly, lighthearted example for a dreary day.

I have a growing collection of bonsai trees. Mostly tiny ones that I proudly managed to successfully plant myself. I have one ficus that is…maybe almost ten years old now? Its name is Bodhi.

Bodhi. And a panda.

From what I can tell, Bonsai is an ancient art that takes great skill. But I don’t know much about that. Usually I am all for learning about new cultural traditions, especially when they have to do with people interacting with nature.

But this time…

Free the tree!

This little cypress is surrounded by mulch ‘cypress knees’ and kept company by a prehistoric wolf in a nod to my swampy, Florida roots

Liberate the bonsai!

A baby jade reaching its chubby leaves for the stars!

Of course, I mean no disrespect to the history of the tradition or to any bonsai masters or enthusiasts, for whom my little collection would be a nightmare. My trees, while in pots, yes, grow freely in whichever direction they please. I don’t shape or prune their branches or constrain them with spiraling wire. I replant them when they grow too large for their current pots. They can grow toward the sun if they darn well want to.

Grow, baby, grow!

This tree is the Bahama Berry, aka the ‘If I dry, I die’ tree. And I’ve had it for almost 6 months. Woohoo! Little acts of resistance…little victories!!!


Oh yeah, and if you haven’t yet…GO VOTE!

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