The blogging community is a delightful place! Though you send out posts to what seems like a void, there are folks who resonate with your writings/art and take the time to let you know. They also will add their own marvelous perspectives and I am enriched by their sharing.

This happened to me yesterday as a kindred spirit in England wrote in the comment section about the rhubarb sheds in Yorkshire where rhubarb plants are forced to grow. I’d like to quote her very words, as I found them so perfect in describing what’s going on there:

“On the topic of this post, did you know that if you enter the dark sheds in Yorkshire where they grow forced rhubarb you can actually hear the rhubarb growing, pushing up in search of light with an urgency and determination that is audible? I’d love to hear that live one day. Rhubarb sheds are traditionally only lit by candles in order to avoid introducing any other source of light that would cause the rhubarb to lose its tender pink colour. I think listening in the light of a candle to the stalks growing in the dark might be quite life-changing actually. Putting one in touch somehow with the growing that so often happens unseen and unheard but which is nonetheless going on. I often think that in fact it’s often in the “fallow” periods of life that great creative forces are born and which emerge subsequently. I find that exciting and makes the fallow periods somehow easier to accommodate. Wishing you a space to hear and enjoy your own growing. It’s assuredly there.”

Thank you so much Elizabeth of the Mrs.Thomasina Tittlemouse blog! I responded to her right away and then she sent me a link to where these sounds of rhubarb growing have actually been captured in real time!

Click here to listen to rhubarb growing!!

I agree with Elizabeth that it sounds quite strange. I imagine growth of any kind (including my own) to include a kind of moaning or stretching of sounds. This popping is more how I imagined flowers blossoming…quick jolts and bursts of life.


I have my own bit of “rhubarb” growing here in a basket next to my chair. The thing I love about having knitting and crochet going on during these “fallow” times in my life, is that I have an enduring expression of life happening even in the darkness. <sigh>

I continue to listen and will keep sharing what I’m hearing as I knit, as I draw, as I crochet and walk.

Thank you dear reader for walking along with me!

5 thoughts on “Rhubarb

  1. Thomasina Tittlemouse says:

    It is absolutely lovely to encounter kindred spirits through the blogosphere and I’m so glad to have “met” you and found your beautiful writing and art-work. I’ve been thinking about rhubarb a lot after our exchange yesterday – I have to confess I’m not all that keen on eating it as it can just taste so sharp. But after this, eating it will seem an act of faith in hidden growing and so my inclination may change! Which raises the interesting question of how much our taste for eating particular things is influenced by factors other than taste if you see what I mean! I love your rhubarb ripple blanket – the colours sing so cheerfully and the way they echo a symbol of growing and determined reaching for light I find exceptionally appealing. To snuggle down under a hopeful rhubarb blanket when life feels like wading through treacle might be extraordinarily therapeutic. Must not allow myself to be distracted from the two blankets I’ve started this month though! I hope we can share more journeying in time to come – the route looks full of possibility! E x

    • jenpedwards says:

      In the spring, my mother in law makes a delicious strawberry-rhubarb pie…the tang of the rhubarb is great with the sweet strawberries. Topped with ice cream it is divine. I am the same way about getting distracted….I have to put on my creative blinders so I can finish what I have at hand. If I start too many things I feel scattered and unable to finish anything. I probably have too many going anyways. But it is just too fun! Thanks for commenting here and may your days be filled with making!

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