Braiding Many Things In Life

When I chose “braid” as the Weekword, I was craving a pastry braid… but that never happened. Instead, I braided garlic. Just as pretty, but a little more stinky.

Our harvest was ready, so I pulled up the plants & sat in the lawn late one afternoon, braiding them. This makes them easy to hang, so they dry well & are up out of our way. 64 bulbs will be swinging from the rafters in our porch room over the next 4 to 6 weeks. While I did this work, I thought about the process of braiding. How my hands feel doing it. How my braids start out thick & clumsy, then tighten & taper off near the end. How the repetition of the hand movements was soothing.

I suspect most people think of hair when they hear the word “braid.” I never had long hair as a child, so I never had that kind of braid. My hair is ridiculously thick & curly. As a child, I howled in distress when my Mom brushed it. To go easier on both of us, she kept my hair cut short.

Turns out, Mom knew best. Long hair has never worked on me. My hair is just too big. In my 20s, I grew it out, but then always had to pull it back or up in order to see. So I cut it off. In my 30s, I tried again. I learned to French braid, which looked nice but was extra time every morning. What is the sense of having long hair, if one never wears it down? Chopped off again. In my 40s, I think I have finally accepted that I’m the kind of girl who looks better & lives better in short hair.

What will I braid then? I’ll braid creativity over & under with birds & plants, bugs & flowers. I’ll add beads of curious learning & ribbons of thought, twist those into my work, my play. I’ll hold those people I love between my fingers, as I weave them in & out of my passing days. That will be my braid. That, and year after year of stinky, delicious homegrown garlic.

For more on braids of all kinds, visit these other Weekword participants by clicking on their name/links below:
Domestic Scribbles
I hope I got everyone! If you participated & don’t see your name above, comment below & I’ll link to you pronto. Our next Weekwordmeister is Mary, so click her link for a new word challenge!

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6 Responses to “Braiding Many Things In Life”

  1. peggy fussell Says:

    What a wonderful post to start my weekend! How I wish I had garlic to braid! Have you ever read The Wild Braid by Stanley Kunitz? It is one of my all time favorite books. It weaves together his poetry and musings on his many years of gardening (He was 100 when it was published). I think you would love it.

    • henniemavis Says:

      I do not know this book… but I will, oh yes, I will. My local librarian will make me an introduction to Mr. Kunitz this week, me thinks :-) Thanks!

  2. Carmen Hirkala Says:

    Oh Hennie I’m so late!! I said I would take part earlier, but just got home and need a nap pronto. I’ll finish mine tonight if you want to toss it on your list, otherwise I’ll start up on the next one :)

    • henniemavis Says:

      No worries, I thought you had decided to skip this week (Aimee had to also). I just put you on the list again, but if you decide to skip, Mary has the next word :-)

  3. mike Says:

    Now entering Vampire-free zone.

    We could never grow garlic. We’re out of planting real estate and lacking a porch.


  4. Pearl Says:

    ah neat. garlic is one thing I’ve never grown.

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