Joyful underdogs

By Ingrid Fetell Lee

This unassuming little book caught my eye the other day. Inside is a series of simple photos highlighting a phenomenon I’ve long considered joyful: plants that have managed to break through hard urban surfaces and green up the cracks in the city environment.

It’s hard not to feel a sense of delight at the pictures of these little sprouts, and their triumph of living matter over inert concrete, vegetable over mineral, soft over hard. As one reviewer put it, these scrappy, weedy things are “the underdogs of the plant world.” They’re like pioneers pitching a colorful tent in a harsh landscape, brave things that are cheerful in the face of long odds.

I Think I Can looks to be part of a six-book series by Partners & Spade. Another title in the series is The Benefits of Looking Up, which also seems to have joyful potential.

March 28th, 2010

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