Seeds(or, Tiny Bodies with a Determined Will to Flourish) - theHumm June 2021
Seeds(or, Tiny Bodies with a Determined Will to Flourish) - theHumm June 2021
By Susie Osler
It is mid-May. Late Spring. The air is pulsing with life. The miracle that is migration parades a blessing of beautiful birds back to parks, forests, streets and yards, along with their chorus of songs telling us, again, to listen, look, and revel in Life. Amongst the flurry of feathery delights, another migration of sorts has also been underway. Postmarked packages containing thousands of little genetic bundles criss-cross the continents on flightpaths of their own — from seed producers to the mailboxes of farmers and gardeners awaiting them.
I received my final packets of seeds yesterday — a last minute order from Strictly Medicinal — a small family-owned seed company in Oregon that I love. Pulling small envelopes of seeds from a mailer is, for me, like handling some of the most precious of things. Perhaps because seeds are the most precious things! Think of the ways our lives depend upon seeds — from the food and medicinal plants that build and nourish countless human and more-than human bodies, to the trees and forests, growing from small seeds, that shade the soil, cycle water, and regulate the Earth’s climate.
With boundless vaults of interwebbed information available to us with the click of a button, there still remains the question, How? How does this happen? How is it possible that the tiniest seeds — barely visible in my hand — can produce in a matter of weeks the giant mulleins and tobacco plants that have grown in my garden; that a tiny seed finding a home in a 400-square-foot span of soil may become as individually expressed as a delicate violet, creeping thyme, little bluestem, tomato, elderberry, or ash? With each diagram I see, and description of germination stages, come a million further questions that inevitably lead my mind back to the fundamental question lounging about mischievously in the wings. What is this thing we call “Life”, this intelligence and spirit that animates all beings?
With luck I will finish planting my garden this weekend. May 24, according to the cumulative wisdom of gardeners, is the date in these parts for seeds to be settled into their subterranean destinations. But it feels more like July than May here right now — except that the greens of the landscape are still fresh, varied and vibrant. The temperature reached 29 degrees today, and any patches of unprotected soil lie parched and dusty. Over the past decade erratic weather has become our new “normal”, making common, tried-and-true wisdom somewhat less reliable for both gardener and (I assume) seed alike. Response-ability to new circumstances and conditions is increasingly needed. What elixir of intelligence, resilience and adaptive capacities can be conjured from the crucible of spiraling helixes of genetic information stored within seeds over eons of plant evolution? Will seeds be able to draw on this storehouse of intelligence rapidly and creatively enough to meet the challenges the climate crisis is already presenting?
The heat has dropped with the sun. The early evening air is thickening with lilac vapours that cast an olfactory spell upon me as I traipse off to plant some of these seeds. The garden gate swings open. Kneeling before a bed I pull back a sheet of hay covering the soil. It occurs to me that this spring ritual — planting my garden — is as much a prayer, a summoning for survival, as it is an act of sensual seduction. I open a furrow in the soil, coax tiny pellets of concentrated carrot-ness out of a packet and into the palm of my hand; and then, with the most presence and tenderness I can muster, drop them from my hand, one by one, to meet the soil. May you be safe, May you be happy in your new home. May you have what you need to thrive. May you become the fullest expression of your particular self, and may I tend to you well.
As I cover the seeds lightly with soil, water seeps through fissures far below my feet, into the well, and is pushed out through a hose in a spray of droplets that fan across the bed, soaking the soil, and sending a signal for germination to begin. Water, soil, sun, air, seeds… and will... are the symbiotic ingredients that support the astonishing diversity of beings with whom we inhabit this planet. Ponder the magic of seeds: their tiny bodies, their genetic contents, their creative genius, and their determined will to flourish. Isn’t it all — I mean everything the natural world presents to us — worthy of worship?
I sit here, paused in front of the screen, staring off into space. My tongue herds a bite of carrot over to my teeth, persuading pieces to this side or that, to be masticated and then swallowed. The texture of the carrot’s orange meat is a bit spongier after months in storage, yet its sweetness — though diminished — still remains. The carrot descends into the dark innerworld of me. And so begins an incorporation — the carrot’s particular bundles of nutrients transported from its flesh into mine. So ordinary, and yet such a profound gift! I resolve with renewed commitment to attend to the life in those newly planted seeds in hopes that, with some blessings from the Weather and Garden Spirits, they will thrive and offer their nourishment back to me next winter.
Frank Sammut —Fine Wood Working - theHumm June 2021
By Sally Hansen
Art… and Soul
Kokopelli Custom Woodworking is Frank Sammut’s celebration of the natural beauty and wonder encapsulated in the trees that fall on his 87 acres of bush lot near Maberly. His lifelong fondness for working with his hands has culminated in a passion for creating one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture that showcase nature’s beauty. Wood speaks to him. And he creates poetry in response.
Frank’s artistic tables and benches are as much sculptures as the......
Warden Christa Lowry (Mississippi Mills Mayor) has proclaimed June as PRIDE Month in Lanark County and encourages residents to reflect on the ongoing struggle for equality faced by members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community while celebrating the contributions that enhance the county.
The proclamation expresses support for every citizen to experience equality and freedom from discrimination, and notes all people, regardless of race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, genetic characteristics or disability, hav......
By Susie Osler
It is mid-May. Late Spring. The air is pulsing with life. The miracle that is migration parades a blessing of beautiful birds back to parks, forests, streets and yards, along with their chorus of songs telling us, again, to listen, look, and revel in Life. Amongst the flurry of feathery delights, another migration of sorts has also been underway. Postmarked packages containing thousands of little genetic bundles criss-cross the continents on flightpaths of their own — from seed producers to the mailbo......
Rural Root’s Comedic Double-Feature - theHumm June 2021
After winning the Ottawa Faces Magazine People’s Choice Award for Favourite Theatre Company, Rural Root Theatre Company is hard at work bringing live theatre to the community again.
Rural Root’s third virtual production is a comedy extravaganza that features Dagny Jackson’s Fishing for Fate and Peter Paylor’s Tea with Roger. It is being presented live via Zoom on June 3, 4 and 5 at 7:30pm and on Sunday, June 6 at 2pm. The show is free, and you can choose your date by visiting ruralroot.org .
Imagine hailing a cab only to f......
Pop Up Summer Theatre - theHumm June 2021
By Juli Heney
Studio Theatre Perth is happy to announce a plan to return to live theatre at the end of summer — but in a new, Covid-friendly, engaging and exciting way!
During the weekend of August 28 and 29, there will be 10-minute plays popping up all over downtown Perth and in a few other select locations. We are joining forces with Kanata Theatre in presenting plays that were developed through a playwriting workshop facilitated by award-winning playwright Guy Newsham.
There will be......
Gayle Kells:Rooted in Time - theHumm June 2021
From May 26 to July 2 (leading up to Canada Day), Sivarulrasa Gallery is pleased to present Rooted in Time, an intriguing installation by Ottawa-based artist Gayle Kells that uses art to explore Canadian identity in the 21st Century. Kells was born to two Lebanese Canadians who both had parents who immigrated to Canada at different times. The installation can be viewed virtually until the current lockdown is lifted; at which time we will open our doors again to in-person view......
Art in the Garden is back at Kiwi Gardens this year in an extended format following Covid protocols. From June 18–20 and 25–27, come wander their 10 acres and find delightful art for enhancing your home garden, produced by local artists, artfully displayed in shady woods and on sunny lawns. Bring your parasol and come for a stroll!
Art in the Garden is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 9–5, but tickets and car passes must be purchased for specific time slots to ena......
Destination: Downtown Smiths Falls - theHumm June 2021
By John Pigeau
When things slowly begin opening up again in Smiths Falls, folks in the area will have a whole lot to be excited about — and it’s safe to say that Amy Rensby, owner of C’est Tout Bakery, might be a little more excited than most.
She has good reason to be.
In June, C’est Tout Bakery — the little bakery that could — is set to become the first commercial tenant to open its doors at the newly restored and renovated Rideau Hotel on Beckwith Street. Understandably, Amy is pretty thril......
By Kris Riendeau
There’s a tangible sense of optimism brewing amongst visual artists and galleries in our area. After months (and months) of moving-target restrictions, many are eyeing mid-June as the time they might be able to begin the gradual return to “normal”. One artist and gallery owner who has already chucked “normal” and set her sights on “better” is Sarah Moffat sarahmoffat.com . Sarah has spent the past several months doing major renovations to h......
Invasive Perennials — Buyer Beware! - theHumm June 2021
By David Hinks
I find that gardeners who choose perennial flowers to grace their yards and gardens face a bit of a dilemma. One the one hand gardeners want plants that will thrive; on the other hand they want plants that will be well behaved. Many people go into gardening with perennials believing that it will be effortless — put in the right plants and your new perennial border will be maintenance-free.
Not completely true! I find that the essence of gardening is really our desire to “shape unruly nature” to e......
Harmony Concerts Come to Perth! - theHumm June 2021
By Kris Riendeau
Although this last year or so has been exceedingly tough on artists and performers, we are starting to see some light at the end of the tunnel. One very positive sign is the announcement of a new concert series taking place at Studio Theatre Perth! Organized by Ottawa-based Harmony Concerts, the series will open with Lynn Miles in late-June and continue right through to December with a fabulous line-up that features fiddling, folk, jazz, blues and more. We (very excitedly!) contacted Harmony’s......
Mom is On Your Shoulder! - theHumm June 2021
By Glenda Jones
Listen here, You! You can’t do whatever you please and think that no one is noticing. Your Mom is noticing, and she refuses to stay silent any longer. You’re being a bad person when you abuse others, send nasty emails or anonymous Tweets. Your Mom knows, and by golly, you are going to pay! She definitely doesn’t approve of your behaviour. You know full well what’s worse than a darn good spanking, don’t you? It’s when Mom stands in front of you, with her arms crossed, and quietly says, “You’ve disappointed me. I thought you were better than that.” Yikes, you’ve been reprimanded big time. A......
By Andy Fisher is with the Lanark County Neighbours for Truth and Reconciliation
Thousands of years before European settlers arrived in what is now called Lanark County, Algonquin/Omàmìwininì People thrived in these lands. When Samuel de Champlain first encountered Algonquins in the 1600s, the land was not empty. Rather, the Algonquin People had complex social and political structures for governing their homeland. These structures worked at an individual and collective level to maintain balanced relationships within the Natural World, fulfilling the Algonquins’ responsibilities t......
By Chandler Swain
If you’re wondering what’s going on in Lanark with Climate Action and how you can contribute, consider this: municipal governments control or influence half of all greenhouse gas emissions produced locally.
This is good news as we try to figure out how to help create the changes needed to confront the Climate Crisis. There is significant headway to be made to address these issues here in Lanark County. We have the capacity and the power to do this. But where to start?
For the last year, membe......
By Danielle K.L. Grégoire
When I first moved to Almonte in 2007, it was for what I called my favourite Ps: Poetry, Puppetry and Pottery. I was lucky to live there when the Puppets Up Festival was in full swing, bringing thousands to our fair town, and right now I am revelling in the memory of those giant crowds and all the children laughing and experiencing the joy of puppetry. I moved away to Seattle in 2012, and when it came time to return to Canada there was only one place I wanted to be: the town where I h......
Cycling in Miss Mills - theHumm June 2021
Ever consider joining a bicycle group so you can share some of your rides with others? Maybe now is the time to get organized for when the Covid restrictions end. Many of us will haul out a bike this spring. Some will ride to do errands around town, a few to commute to work, others to explore the beautiful quiet roads and trails in the area, while still others will enjoy a long, hard workout. Hopefully, we all do it for pleasure. Sometimes we prefer to ride solo and sometimes the kil......
By Kris Riendeau
Over the years, I’ve learned that when one artist highly recommends another, it’s generally a good idea to follow up on the tip. In this case, the tip came from Kaajuk Kablalik, who is profiled in the April 2021 issue of theHumm. Along with the headshot for his Artist Trading Card, Kaajuk sent along a photo of his tattoos (shown here), which were done by a visual artist and graphic designer living with their four kids on a small homestead in Brooke Valley. I followed the link to their website
Go Jump in the Lake, Kids! - theHumm June 2021
By Sarah Kerr
This month’s Little Humm topic was an easy one after many weeks in lockdown with my family. We’ve all been feeling the need to tell each other to go jump in the lake this month — figuratively and literally! I don’t know if you’re in the same boat or if you need a dinghy at this point, but since we’re all enrolled in a provincial three-step program which involves nothing social until at least mid-month, I thought the best lifeline I can toss your way is to share a little backwoods tour of sw......
Sep 1 - 30 Retrospective: Having Said That...
Sep 11 - 30 Eric Uren
Sep 24 - 30 Eric Uren on the Patio
Sep 26 Steve Stacey & Pat Robillard
Sep 29 Graven aka Matty McKechnie
Sep 30 Jeff Callery
Oct 1 - 15 Eric Uren on the Patio
Oct 1 Perth Night Market
- Don Bruner —The Pleasures of Rerouting
- Almonte Fibrefest A Two-Day Festival of the Fibre Arts
- Perth Autumn Studio Tour New Dates! Tour Takes Place in September This Year
- Ice Breaker has World Premiere in Perth
- Living the Blues: an Interview with Steve Marriner
- These Blues Won’tGet You Down!
- How Much Would YouPay for a White Painting?
- Ottawa Valley Country Music Lives On!
- What Makes an Alpaca Farm Sustainable?
- Looking Back in Almonte