As my boy Chocolate Duck likes to say, “There’s levels”: Jimi and Jerry and James Brown, Michael Jordan and Magic Johnson, Christopher Columbus, Walt Whitman, Kerouac, Kesey – some people are seekers, pushing things until they’re reshaped, until the boundaries are redefined and everyone who comes later on lives in a different world.
We all walk around carrying our own personal boundaries, our interpretations of the world and our individual places in it, our judgments of who we are and are not, of what we can and cannot do. Sometimes these limits are sensible, there for our safety; sometimes they’re rooted in fear and limit what we might become. Sometimes we need to re-examine our vantage point, to see things differently – if you’re 5’1”, you might never dunk a basketball, but you could climb a Fourteener and feel like the lord of all you survey.
When we started growing weed, Charlie D. and I drove a dozen and a half plants from his place, where they were smothering in a closet, to my basement (the furnace room, actually) and surrounded them with T5 shop lights. It was a pretty basic setup.
As it turns out, we might be seekers. We dropped that first crop and got a couple proper grow lights. We added another dozen plants to our next run. Tubs for mixing soil, tables full of clones, more lights, fans to move the air and strengthen the stalks, other fans to bring in air and vent out heat from the lights, HPS bulbs, a visit from an electrician, another dozen plants, clone pods, cloning medium, peat moss, veg nutrients, bloom nutes, flat white paint, four-day trim sessions, scissor hash, metal halides, bubble bags, HEPA filters, squirrel fans, new strains, pallets and dirt and green, car rides to drop pounds, $600 electric bills, gallon jugs, 50 clones at a clip, clotheslines, mason jars, soup cauldrons full of glycerin tincture (with blackberry brandy and Mountain Dew Throwback for flavor), scribbled-up calendars, staggered trimming cycles, and a couple years down the line, a new me.
I’d developed a whole new territory. I involved my mind and my body every day with this new thing. I was down in the garden every night, pinching and tying and snipping, pouring gallons, smoothing soil, getting dirty, stinking like a skunk from the terpene-laced oils and resin, smiling like a little kid as the breezes made the leaves dance a slinky little dance. It got into me at a cellular level. It became spiritual. I had a vision one night as I camped under the stars. I dreamed of oceans of healing water. I went home after that weekend and spent extra time every night pouring water through pots until I saw it leak out the bottom, then circling through dozens of other plants to circle back and do it again, pouring gently, looking closely, making adjustments as I went – a quarter turn, a piece of string, another bamboo stake: anything for those girls.
On one level, it was the simplest of things: Some little bushes, light, wind, water, dirt. But at the same time, it was everything. Growing included every part of me. It pushed my limits and changed my boundaries by bringing with it whole sets of knowledge and questions, challenges and answers that forced me to look both outward and inward for solutions while it helped me to find a place of health and happiness. Life is full of these opportunities; here’s hoping one crosses your path as you travel through the next week. Be well ’til then.
Christopher Gallagher lives with his wife and their four dogs and two horses. Life is pretty darn good.