Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Come Again, Another Day

It's Summer, and the garden is in bloom, flush, growing, thriving and, happily, very recently soaked. Again. It's been a mercifully wet July this year, albeit a bit chilly. Temps in the sixties last week, with overnights to the low forties.

I took the day off on Friday, to get some rest. CM and I headed up to my folks' place late. They were in their usual places in the kitchen, Dad with a fishing rod and some new line, Mom with a glass of wine and on the table between them, something new: my parents have
finally acquired, after some deliberation on their part and years of bitching and badgering on my part and CM's, a small set of knives befitting my mother's fine culinary skills and my father's appreciation of well-crafted tools. It could very well be the most subtly life-changing event of the year.

Saturday, the guys took the boat out on the lake early and returned a few hours later with a nice looking northern that Dad had snagged (in anticipation of the dozens of fat sunnies, crappies and bass they'll bring home next time, ha ha). Mom and I had a relaxed morning and weeded through the afternoon while Dad found and cut pieces for the tomato supports and CM took a long nap. I'd forgotten how much I can and really do miss the garden sometimes, how honest it is, how real. How totally not stupid bullshit. How alive.

A few new plants have caught everyone's fancy this year. There's a yellow-podded pea of the most fantastic color, with two-toned violet flowers, golden tendrils and soft white-green leaves that wear a ring of fuschia where they meet the stem. The favas have been captivating, also, with their stout square stems, black & white rabbit-like blossoms and origami leaves, unfolding into the sky. Hope to picture them here soon, if I can take a proper photo. In the meantime, here are the Scarlet Emperors, climbing with abandon, and waist-high Hickory Dent corn, spiraling higher by the hour...

On Saturday evening, after dining on that pike and a few other local delicacies, CM and I traveled north to stay at a friend's sweet cabin for the night. The interstate wasn't too far away, but neither were the North Woods... There's something about arriving at dusk, locating the shitter and finding your way down to the water's edge that will make your nostrils flare just a little, with the scent of pine needles underfoot and the potential for some kind of wild encounter (if only with a wicked little black spider on a square of toilet paper...). It was buggy enough that we stayed inside, in spite of starry skies, and cold enough that we started a fire in the old upright woodstove. CM switched on a battery operated radio and we tuned in for a while to a nice old-timey set (except for one, gospel awful) on Radio Heartland which included some fine saw playing by a friend of a friend, or so, with the Roe Family Singers. We read by candlelight. CM remarked that this was about all the technology he needed, and I felt much the same way. A peaceful night and morning in a quiet place, for a change.

near the doorstep, dry Birch and unknown white flower

On Sunday morning I sat out in the sun (!) and finished the book I've been reading lately, Secrets of the Talking Jaguar. This book, a gift to me from CM, has been the most timely and inspiring piece of writing that has found its way to me in quite some time. I actually cried just reading the acknowledgments. I can think of no other, offhand, that has reinforced my experience and mirrored my hopes in the way this one has. Martín Prechtel has here given voice to an Incantation of Love, and I am infinitely grateful for what I have learned from him and from it, so far. He draws the legend to a map we all knew by heart once, but have forgotten... how much there is to learn, as we heal and remember. As we must, as we will.

Sunday afternoon, CM took a walk on the river while my folks and I assembled and constructed a dozen fences for the tomatoes (to keep the sheep out...). Evening sun is always golden and lovely but pretty crappy for photos, so I'll post one next time, with some specs. As the sun sank, we loaded up a bag full of kale, one of chard, another of mustard greens, a couple handfuls of arugula, enough lettuce for a boatload of hamsters, a bouquet of radishes and several pinches of herbs--reminding us how gracious July can be, and also that in a few weeks we're going to have more veg than we can handle--and we hit the road for home, just before sunset.

On Monday, I experienced a minor miracle: sometime in the afternoon all the pain I've been carrying in my lower back and hips just up and left me. Aside from putting me in a state of dreamy bliss, this fleeting respite reminded me to be grateful, every day, for the pain I do not carry, which others do. It reminded me, also, that there was a time years ago when I hoped I might help heal others, with my small hands. So many people believe that to live in pain is not only inevitable but necessary. It is neither.

Today is Tuesday. Over the course of the past day it rained three inches on the July garden, and an infinite measure on my sleepy morning soul.

Anyway, if anyone wants greens, we got 'em... Let me know. More to come.

1 comment:

JB aka JayBee said...

Very interested in your garden bounty here.

I enjoy your writings very much, your words paint images in my mind that are both beautiful and full of emotion. Please continue.