It has been raining for several days now. This is how this year looks to be going: days of unforgiving sunshine followed by days of relentless rain. The garden is thriving. Everything is green and vivid, the nettle patch in the corner is a towering glory of green spiked with purple flowers. Somehow I have never noticed the flowers on nettles before, or if I have it is not something which has cemented in my memory. I am sad about the flowers, but only because I have been investigating the ways in which nettles can be used, welcomed, not just a patch of stinging madness but something which can be consumed. It has all the properties of spinach plus a little more, and it is more advantageous because it grows everywhere, freely and abundantly, because it is true that the world is always giving just like people, me included, are always taking. I have been drinking nettle tea, and I have been thinking about making some of my own, but I have to wait until the flowers are gone, or new nettles grow, and I should check there are no butterflies eggs on them before I take them for my own. I would hate to take away the small opportunity for life a caterpillar, and then a butterfly, is afforded. It has always been a reason to admire nettles, the way they support such beautiful life. My garden, too, supports life. It is rich with beetles, with bees, there’s a colony of ants somewhere that we’ve been trying to locate so we can be rid of it, though the ants aren’t really much of a bother. There are spiders and many strange kinds of creatures I cannot name, and that’s before I get into the many birds and the cats and snails, the occasional frog or hedgehog. It is a small wonder, a patch of ground which I have proven myself consistently unable to control. Thank goodness.