Tonight I am having asparagus for dinner, freshly picked from the garden. Asparagus is cultivated on purpose where I live. It is planted in prepared beds, where it sprouts year after year without any further ado. Even so, it is an expensive fresh vegetable in the grocery store.
In midwestern America, a friend tells me, asparagus grows wild in ditches. Midwesterners go out with a pocket or paring knife and a large container, cutting the prolific shoots. The bounty is hauled home, washed and steamed. There, no one pays for a vegetable that grows wild. No one plants it. There is no need.
Were this the midwest!
There isn’t much better — and better for you from a health point-of-view — than fresh asparagus. Recent studies show that asparagus has chemicals that inhibit cancer. It must be the same chemicals that make the eater’s urine smell funny after eating it.
Enough about health. It’s another attribute of asparagus I wish to chat about.
It grows with wild abandon. Once it is started, there is no holding it back. Each year, whether Spring is early or late, asparagus sprouts and spreads. If you cut its shoots, it just sends up more. Profligacy is in its DNA.
As is asparagus, I want to be — wildly extravagant in my writing. I do not want to be a miser, hoarding words against some future day. Instead I want to cast my stories to the wind and see them take root. I want readers to take away what I have written to their homes, so that I am spurred to produce more.
This is my wish for myself.