Making Time

Here in the desert Making time for something means turning to the mirabilis multiflora, the giant four o’clock plant, for guidance. It’s a short hike along gold sandstone boulders, swirling with vermillion intrusions, before the four o’clock stops you in a rolling field sharp with fishhook nipple cacti and pencil cholla guarding the fragile violet four o’clock flowers. The Zuni people powdered the root and in a water base, rubbed it onto the bellies of those who suffered from hunger. At four o’clock, to stop and eat is to miss the most productive part of the harvest day, but an infusion of the multiflora massaged below the belly makes time keeping you focused on what matters. This is one secret, but there is more. Desert hawkmoths pollinate the multiflora. Their caterpillars are seen as pests ravishers of other species, like the tender mariposa lily. Where is the balance between the needs of the four o’clock, those who make time using it, hawkmoths that fertilize it, and lilies that are eaten by the hawkmoth? Each group’s survival depends on this balance of one and all, of tendril and time

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