At the start of lockdown I went to buy some seedlings. The only ones available were turnips and marigolds, tiny and hopeful in early winter. I took them home, planted them together in the courtyard, and weeks later wrote:

I see you just visible above the dark soil now. Your turnip bulb like a round healthy heart, your marigold flower vivid amber. It is a marvel to me how you grow silently from cold rain, starlight, sunshine and soil.

Unusual friends, you have been with me through this lockdown, keeping me in the unending loop of life. Day by day I see you take in what life gives you and forge yourselves from it incrementally.

In this courtyard we promised each other that you would keep me rooted in faith during this strange time, and that I would nurture you. Thank you for your unstoppable life force.

Julia Casciola ©