Making paper to write thank you notes to plants

In this period I am hungry for nodes of growth and connection. Along this path of discovery, a few days ago I found myself in Santa Cruz for a two-day paper making workshop facilitated by someone who embodies connectedness better than almost anybody I know: someone who is a gardener, naturalist, artist, poet, educator, maker of all sorts of things and beyond all that a human being — Melody Overstreet.

Along with a curious and spirited bunch of local artists, teachers and self-defined “craftoholics”, I was guided to discover the multiple unexpected connections that bring about something as simple as a sheet of paper. The joy of learning — together — the ways of paper quickly filled the room, as did the playfulness of co-responding to something that was slowly taking shape before our eyes, with all sorts of surprising and often exciting twists and turns.

As I look at the first paper sheets I’ve ever made, still drying up on my bed in this unusually moist end-of-May, I realize how my hidden intention really was to write thank you notes to plants: for the life they create and sustain on this planet, for the nourishment they give to our bodies, for their cheerful and nurturing companionship, for the gift of paper, and for much, much more. Because — as Melody would put it — it all boils down to plants.