Summer warms the soil all around. All hope, all work, now coalesces to a single point: the meristem. Nourishment passes along thick, pale rhyzomes sleeping in the earth – stores that could stay fresh through forty winters. Everything is ready for the push.
The pressure at the tip can rearrange earth, heave aside metal; fracture stone. Behind, construction work begins in earnest: the first tiny purple leaves unfold, stiffen, then green, and turn like hearts to catch the light. The race is on – on and up, twining against the course of the sun.
Stems elongate and curl, but never stiffen: why trouble with the costly complexities of Lignin when someone else nearby has done it for you? A bine twists around – embraces – loves a dupe.
A bine strangles the strong and overruns the weak – outgrows the sluggish and robs them of their light. Below the surface, unseen roots push into rivals, dissolving their matrix, stealing their supplies. Flesh, bone and metal may tear at the periphery but a bine will endure. There is no death. There is only growth – each day; each year.
There is no other way.
(Inspired by my constant struggle against bindweed on the allotment, and will likely feature in the next novel.)