The 10th of July 1933 – Tempe, Arizona

(found in the dust somewhere)

Harold –

You can try all you want, and I know you will. Of course, you certainly will. I’ll tell you it’s not worth it. I know I can tell you that all I want, and of course I certainly will.

But, geez Harold, you can’t change the roots. You can replant. You can transplant, but you gotta dig up the whole bush to get it done. You can’t just change the roots. You can’t just wish and pray with all your might and get the roots to change.

The roots are dug in – deep, deep, deep down in the dirty. They’re dug in. You can’t just change them. Not even if it makes more sense to. Not even if you know there’s a reservoir of ground water two feet to the other side. You can’t just change them.

If the roots are going to cling to cold, dead stones, well, that’s just what they’re going to do. If they latch around pockets of dusty peat deep down in the soil, then that’s all there is to it. You can’t talk a plant out of its nature. You can’t just tell it “Oh, you know, there happens to be a better way here.”

No Harold. You just can’t.

I mean, surely you can, but there just isn’t all that much point to it.

If the plant wants to die, then that’s what it’ll do. You can’t get in the way of that. Otherwise it all gets to be a big mess.

There’s a lot to say about farmers, Harold. There’s a lot to say that’s right and there’s plenty that’s wrong too. We like to think of ourselves as cultivators and developers. But that’s not it. Not it at all. We only tend. All we can do is tend to our plants as best as we can. We can’t change them. We can’t get them to grow if that’s not what they want to do. We’re just here most of the time, honestly. That’s it.

But you go right ahead now. Do your best, Harold.



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