Same but different…

nasturtiumEarly on in the process of the Independent Study Project, I realized that the plants were catching my eye in a different way. My first training was in Plant Spirit Medicine- it was then that I began to see the invitations. Same plants I had scuffed through for years. Suddenly, they were saying

hey over here

It takes a bit of getting used to.

Nasturtium is a plant of summer. It spreads and lolls, lovingly entwining itself with all around it. Yet in autumn, it suddenly took on an intensity of color that would stop me in my tracks. Same but different.

It was a garden where, as one might expect, grasses flourished. It was not tended. It had been turned loose. It seemed as if the earth of the fields had been lifted out entire and placed unceremoniously into this garden.

“It’s so strange,” Hiromasa said.

“What is?”

“In the spring and the summer and the fall, the garden seems to be covered just the same with grass, but it’s different each season. Depending on the season, there’s grass that stands out, and grass that doesn’t. When the bush clover and the rest of the autumn plants have already lost all their flowers, though you can’t tell where they are right away, you can see the Chinese bellflowers and gentians taking their place that it seemed you couldn’t make out until then…”


“So that’s why I said it’s different. But even though I said it’s different, to tell the truth, I feel like this garden never changes in the slightest, too. That’s why…”

“It’s so strange?”

“Yeah.” Hiromasa nodded tranquilly. “It’s different while seeming the same. It’s the same while seeming different. Plus, I get the feeling that it’s not a matter of which of the two it is, but that perhaps it’s the way of the world for it to be both ways, naturally…?”

“That’s amazing, Hiromasa,” Seimei said.

p.188 of Yumemakura Baku’s Onmyoji: A Translation with Introduction by Karen McGillicuddy, 2004 Senior Thesis

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