I was composting autumn's mums the other day, but of course I'd delayed too long and the potting soil was frozen solid in perfect flowerpot forms. No hope of just sliding the root masses out, I broke the plastic, which cracked in the unruly manner of overly boiled eggshell, flaking off here, sticking stubbornly there and requiring multiple cracks against the railroad-tie wall to come off completely. Inside their glassy shell, the roots were a cross between undersea tentacles and leftover lo mein.
For Christmas we'd gotten the boy a Root Viewer planting kit -- three plastic vials in a wood stand, some peat moss, and seeds: carrot, radish, onion. You plant, then thin down to the one seedling that looks most promising, and watch as it grows a root veggie in the tube. Sounds cool.
I grew up about 58 miles from where I live now. A well-traveled woman who lives with me started out about 11 miles away. This region has always had allure for me; something about the romance of northward, something about the river's origins in the "forever wild" mountains. It seems so natural to live here. It's also not far from my roots, not so foreign that I can't understand it, but just different enough -- a little wilder, a little older -- that it feels like my own place.
How far are you from your roots?