All Alone for Three Months
I was writing him a note this morning on this postcard:
The plants decorating the front of the house reminded me of a permanent(?) exhibit Husband and I saw on our vacation in New England this past August. We went to MASS MoCA — the largest contemporary art museum in the world — in North Adams, Massachusetts. The museum is housed in an old mill in the Berkshires. The buildings are huge and beautiful and the exhibits are likewise huge and for the most part remarkable.
Outside the museum, there is an ongoing exhibit of hanging trees. There are six, young, live, maple trees suspended upside down from huge poles and wires. They've been there for eight years. This summer it looked like only four of them were still alive, but you could see in their curved trunks that all of them were straining to turn themselves over to grow toward the sun.
It was very pretty and very interesting but also kind of sad. Those trees won't be able to live upside down forever. While I was standing under them, all I could do was think of my third-grade science fair project, "Do Roots Always Grow Down?". The answer is yes, and I know this because as an eight year-old I did countless tests sprouting seeds pressed against clear plastic surfaces. Once each sprout had a root and a stem established — root growing down, stem growing up — I would turn the container over so the roots pointed up and the stem down. Every time, within two or three days, the root and stem would both change course and continue growing the original direction (roots down, stem up). And if you turned it over again, they will switch again and again, even after the science fair was long over, as long as you remember to water them. Forgetting to water the seeds is the fastest way to kill them, I found.