jude hill spirit cloth

Slow Growing


Just Going, no Growing.

I have been going and going, but have I been growing?  I'm old, growing, what can it mean?   Growing old.  Simply growing up, I suppose that idea has changed for me, maturity.   Maybe outgrowing is more like it.  I feel something like growing pains. And I am seasoned enough to know what that means.

Some things are so slow.  Or seem slower than imagined.  I suppose, like time, who can understand. Really.  Except to feel , sense it.  We, the experiment.   And then that big hypothesis, What if?

can you just smell it?

I have begun to harvest the ginger I grew in a big pot last Spring.  It  kept drying out in the drought so I moved it to the deck where I could hand water it.  Then it did not die back so I brought it into the porch after the skylights were installed.  And then into the house in October when the chill started.  Kept eating the greens after learning that all the parts of the plant were edible.  But still it kept thriving getting bigger and bigger ever so slowly. Finally, it just seemed tired.  There is much more.  I will pickle a bit of it today  Greens are chopped and stored in the freezer. Was it done growing?  I don't know.

slower stitch, this one has the feel of a carpet, a magic carpet.

Slower than slow.  The stitch on this. Sometimes I work all day and can hardly notice a change.  But the center basket, now eclipsed,  has inspired some new dots.  I have some gathering to do on the dots.  They form quickly in my mind and I forget to say.

Maybe that is ok.

Growing.  Maybe growing is simply becoming.  Ok. I answered myself.


  1. ginger is one of my favourites, had no idea I could grow them in our climate, maybe everything is changing in that respect
    some of my houseplants thrive despite my haphazard watering habits – making me feel happy and proud, others just wither away and die, after which I feel horrible, for a moment, like I betrayed their trust or something
    I like how that cloth leaf is turning green;-)

  2. Judith

    Wonderful ginger! I’m pushing 81 on the timeline; everything I do is slow. It’s not bad to talk of death; it’s realistic. It happens. Just enjoy life while you are here.

  3. MES

    I am happy to say I am 71, like Jude I feel it simply places me in some kind of timeline, not confining merely describing. And I too find I am outgrowing many things, changing and growing as the years pass. Wonderful exploration of life – I am looking forward to all that the next 30 years or so may bring me. Becoming venerable as I grow I hope. We need elders.

      • Jeri Bellini

        For a few years i felt like i was old. Recently listening to a podcast, woman in her late 70’s, still having a full life. Made me change my perspective of old. I think its a mindset mostly. Yes we do get slower but i dont want a number to define me.
        Im taking each day as the start to a new adventure.
        Love Grow. We grow, we learn, we change. Poof!

  4. Mmmm . . . I can not only smell it, but taste it, too!
    Do you grow your ginger in a sandy, or somewhat sandy, soil? I’ve never had luck, but also had only regular potting soil when sandy soil was recommended.

    Do we ever need more than just going? I don’t think so, though I’m grateful for sometimes, often, having more.

    • jude

      I just used the soil here plus compost. Maybe sandy soil is better ?
      Very strong when fresh. So amazing. And the greens so great in stir fry and salad.

    • Clara

      Es muy bueno escucharte Jude. Me da mucha serenidad y estimulo imaginarte con las telas y tus reflexiones tan sinceras .por mu parte busco esos momentos de creatividad y labor y muchas veces me pierdo en la elección de telas colores e ilusiones…trato de ordenarlas y es muy difícil…siento que descarto algunas y eso no es justo…pero ES ASI creo que el secreto es elegir y seguir …siempre podre volver a buscar….. todo queda en algún lado.
      Abrazo agradecido por tu comunicación…hasta la proxima

  5. Jen

    I am growing, and going too.
    (& getting old(er)
    Big 6-0 is coming in Feb 😲
    My ginger was growing, but now it’s all dormant, but will resprout in the Spring …today feels like Spring, I mowed the grass!! 😅🤦‍♀️😆

  6. Kristin F.

    Ginger has always eluded me in the arena of successful growing and harvesting. Your story encourages me to give a pot a try this year. Being open to change and possibility is the story of my journey.

  7. Marilee

    When we bought our first house (in Southern California) my father brought us a lot of cuttings and plants from their house, and one was a clump of ginger. It grew wonderfully well on the north side of the house and had the best smelling blossoms. This was a long time ago as I fall in the “old” category, at least chronologically, and long before I knew about cooking with fresh ginger. Once I learned that you can start a plant from the ginger root you buy at the market, I’ve been trying but without much luck. I’ll get a little bit of growth but then they die back. If you can grow ginger in NY, I should certainly be able to grow it here in Oregon. So, I’ll try again, maybe I’ll try putting it in a big pot on the porch that is a bit sheltered.

    • jude

      long growing season, lots of water. I will start it earlier indoors this spring. I grew tumeric too, but did not move it indoors at the end of the summer. Got some but small harvest. I did grow it on Long Island though, directly in the ground. I wish I had a greenhouse but that simply ain’t gonna happen.

  8. Laura

    The magic carpet will tell quite a tale, story, history. How did it begin, where has it been, where is it going? With whom has it been traveling? Is it worse/no worse for the wear? It is, likely, worn and beautiful, beloved.

  9. SusanMerre

    Your posts read like my small inner voice. How simply and beautifully you express and articulate these meanderings that my mind/heart/soul has been taking since crossing the threshold at 70. Never felt my aging before. Now, I think/feel/sense that I am in a new place on the life spiral, one that I really can’t share with my younger friends. Recently it came to me that my purpose in life now is to prepare for a good death. This is not morbid. The feeling is very clear, even uplifting, taking nothing away from my living my life fully with joy. Observing. Thank you.

  10. Jana Jopson

    Always amazed at what takes shape through the stitches you make. The choices or the following of instinct. And the stitch shapes so in harmony with whatever they are stitched into. This is true beauty.

  11. deemallon

    The repeated and improvised accommodations for the ginger plant speaks volumes to the business of aging in general and to you, specifically. You model a life of honest inquiry and willingness to change. “That not working? Try this”. “Weather got harsh, try that.” Thank you. When we die, hopefully it will be before we’ve stopped growing.

  12. Linda Cowell

    You are not old!!! Please stop saying that. Focusing on age is not good for you. There are many of us out here who have lots more years than you and are still going strong

      • I just wrote this to a friend and it seems to fit here, too …

        Don used to be bothered when I would say “I’m getting old … we’re getting old” … but “old” isn’t a bad thing to me so much as a reality that I choose to name and live into.

        • Nancy

          There are parts of ‘old’ that aren’t the best, but to me as well, but I live in reality. And “old” can happen at one year for one person…and at a different age for another. No expectation, no judgement, just going – each in our own way. That’s what feels respectful to me.
          Jude and I are not the same in years, but, Jude in many ways we are the same ‘age’…maybe in heart? ❤️
          Love the expression on this one’s face. xo

    • My dear husband, who has been around for 92 years now, will emphatically tell you that he is NOT old. And he isn’t! He is often younger than I am. He was older when I met him 51 years ago than he is now.
      My mom, who died at 93, was old only in her last year (when her heart was failing). Her mom was old for the last 20-30 years of her healthy 99.5 year life.
      LOL, I once saw a picture of an old lady in the newspaper, only to read the article and discover she was over a decade younger than I.
      Old is merely a particular perception–internal or external.

      • jude

        Yes. I choose to use it. Maybe to mark time passibg. It does not imply anything other than a kind if place in my mind. Relatively speaking.

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