The bean trees in this novel (The Bean Trees) are wisteria, are a metaphor for how beauty can flourish with the help of a little symbiosis. How just because we came from poor soil stock, we can still thrive. Even if doctor’s stamp us with the label: Failure to thrive. Even if all the bones in our body have been broken not once not twice but dozens of time over. Even if we have been sexually abused.
This is the story of a little girl just like, who was left in Taylor’s car. A little girl just like that who clings onto Taylor like a Turtle refusing to let go and hence is named Turtle. While I felt Taylor’s bond could’ve been deeper to Turtle and sometimes she seems more bonded to the handsome Estevan (“with a smile that could crack your heart right down the middle” ) than Turtle, I still love this book. With it’s trek across states to, the resting place of Arizona where things bury themselves in mud and come out when it rains. Things have a way of surviving in the dusty seemingly barrenness.
So maybe I can comfort myself in thinking I am just a toad buried in the sand, just a toad waiting for it to rain. Because sometimes I don’t believe I am ready to be around people yet. Take my birthday for instance, there I was hosting a craft party and making dinner while anxiety bloomed in my chest. Feeling my stomach coil around itself like a rattlesnake. Thinking I can’t just cant admit I am struggling, I can’t tell them I need to take a breather. I can’t do small talk, I don’t know how. I can’t, I can’t, I can’t. Failure to thrive or a cumbersome belief clunking around my neck like a yoke. The belief that I have to be just so, just social to be liked. A wavering in the courage it takes to speak up, to open and expose your imperfections to others.
But I don’t want to be like a toad waiting for the perfect environment to thrive. Because perfect doesn’t exist, Because that’s relying to much on externals. I just want to thrive. And I have been doing better, feeling a little more relaxed shopping. Smiling a little more, So no need to beat myself up, Instead congratulate myself on my budding. On my not quite ready to open fully, but soon ready to blossom, curls of flower. As Mulan’s father says : “My,what beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look, this one’s late. But I’ll bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.”
Now I am not saying I will be the most beautiful, but that I am beautiful, make no doubts about it. And that it’s okay to be late blooming. And after the blossom comes the fruit or in this novel’s case the beans. And you know what they say about beans: they are a magical, musical fruit that help you fart unabashedly.