This week's post is a bit unorthodox, but it actually sums up this week (and the last two months) rather nicely:
It started with the rhythmic patter,
on wood, on canvas, on plastic and fiberglass.
Faint, then constant, then pounding.
It started then it stayed,
at last coming up to a roar
eventually receding in the mind
like so much white noise.
Hours became days became weeks,
the roar ceasing for few precious hours,
supplanted by the resulting rumble of the brook,
near breaching its brown banks,
with bated breath you awaited the flood.
And in and around the rain
you worked, layers of cotton
mouldering under layers of rubber,
hair curling under the humid hood,
toes, soles, souls soggy in your socks.
Staggering through kale,
mud covered the tops of your feet,
passive, feigning innocence,
then violently grasping your boot,
relenting with an obscene SHLOOP!
Bent scythe-like, you filled your bins,
willing the clouds to part.
And then one day, at last, the heat came.
Your bodies from soggy to sweating and burnt,
your fields from grey to green.
But the relief was fleeting, for bending closer
to the earth, you saw the green not of
nightshades or cucurbits, but of
noxious weeds, galinsoga and sedge,
waging a battle you hadn't time to fight.
You peeled off socks, and sank
to your shins in soaked soil,
clawing to save your precious plants,
each day closer, yet farther from victory.
And on you worked, falling into rhythms:
harvest, hoe, sow, muster for battle.
Hundreds of row-feet planted,
thousands of plants saved. And yet,
another menace emerged, at first invisible.
From the tire-tracks of tractors,
from the lowest fields and pastures,
the winged militia took flight, evoking in you
a arhythmic dance, a slap, a flick,
an equine swing of the mane,
the perfumed attempt at evasion,
And finally, the itch, the scratch, the rub.
And as battle raged in you and around you,
you came upon treasures, buried and not.
The faint pip! of a root pulled from the ground,
the sweet smell when you pop off the carrot-top,
the small snap of the pea as you bite,
the mint and parsley and dill and cilantro,
that force the deep breathing of calm.
And finally, when the memory has all but gone,
you spy that glint of deep red in the greenhouse.
You pluck it, you smell it, your mouth waters.
Bacon sizzling, you reach for the toothy knife,
and at last you remember why you farm.
Thinking about: start-up models, intentional community, creativity
Reading: Nathan Englander's What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, Shalom Auslander's Hope: A Tragedy, The Greenhorns' 2013 New Farmers Almanac, Selected Letters of Willa Cather
Eating: bacon and tomato on sourdough with homemade mayo, carrots fresh from the ground, penne with sauteed broccoli and garlic, some beautiful lemon birthday cake