Plant Dreaming Deep

It was five years before the plum trees I had planted flowered, five years before the oriole came back to weave his flame in and out of the clusters of white. I shall soon have been planted here myself for ten years, and I have a sense that the real flowering is still to come, and all I have experienced so far only a beginning. . . .

Now the adventure before me siezes me in the night and keeps me awake sometimes. Growing old . . . why, in this civilization, do we treat it as a disaster, valuing, as we do, the woman who ‘stays young’? Why ‘stay young’ when adventure lies in change and growth?

It is only past the meridian of fifty that one can believe that the universal sentence of death applies to oneself. At twenty we are immortal; at fifty we are too caught up in life to think much about the end, but from about fifty-five on the inmost quality of life changes because of this knowledge.”

–May Sarton, Plant Dreaming Deep

One thought on “Plant Dreaming Deep

  1. I love this book and look forward to rereading it. And the quote here strikes a real chord with me. I find myself drawn more and more to women writers “of a certain age.” Not that I don’t read books by women (and men) in their 20s and 30s; I do. But it’s really nice to read someone who has a solid foundation of life experience to draw on. I especially appreciate it with regard to memoirs. Give me May Sarton, Doris Grumbach, Maya Angelou, Diane Ackerman, Patti Smith, Joan Didion, Gloria Steinem, Terry Tempest Williams, Patricia Hampl, Isabel Allende . . . the list goes on (I’m sure I’ve forgotten many). They know what I’m going through and what I have to look forward to. Here’s an interesting article (relating mostly to fiction) called “How Old Is Too Old for a Main Character” that sheds some light on why we don’t see more books that speak to “mature” audiences:

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