In driving rain yesterday, I sat out a new planting of asparagus, thinking several times as I worked to give it up until drier weather. But in the end I held on, and so the job was done and twenty-some asparagus crowns from New Jersey overnighted for the first here in New Hampshire.
And also yesterday in maybe even colder rain, I planted apple trees, old heirloom varieties I brought home on Saturday from Plainfield, Vermont. Consider for a second their names:
Westfield Seek-No Further
Is life fine-tuned a bit when we look out the kitchen window and, seeing an apple tree, think Ashmead’s Kernel? when we say the words? Do the trees we live with, the plants, the architecture, the sounds, the predominate slant of the sun—do these things influence our lives in ways we don’t realize? Is working in rain actually a kind of gift? Is the coming of spring, the coming of spring, the reoccurring coming of spring profoundly more important than we understand?
Quetzal told me a week ago that she is going to “live like a wild child this summer.” I’m not sure what that means, but I’m all for it, and I suggest we join her as best we can.
May the earth we live on likewise live within us.
carry on, guys.
My friend Dan stopped by yesterday just before dusk, and we talked for a while, and then we opened the gate and walked across the pasture to the chicken house. I built the house last fall at this very time. My family was away, and every day for two weeks I worked alone on the house, the weather fine and bright with sunshine. I told Dan all about this while we were standing in with the chickens. How it was to build the house, and how one late afternoon I had put a lawn chair on the roof so as to sit close up with the coming dusk. Continue reading
About four years ago, my daughter, Quetzal, asked me if I would build her a swing. The old kind, she said, a tire swing. So I found a tire, a length of rope, a few clamps, and one afternoon hung a swing from a tree just outside our kitchen door. When I finished, I called her over, and she climbed onto the tire and tried to start it going. But she couldn’t move it. So I tried. Like this, I said, pushing and pulling on the rope. But already I knew it would never work. The tire was too heavy. And that’s when I realized I had made a swing for both of us–for Quetzal to ride, for me to push. Continue reading
A porcupine woke me in the night, him and his one-note chatter, and I listened to him and thought about him, and then I got up and went outside to see if I could find him. He was in the middle of our parking area and quite unhappy to see me. When I shone my flashlight on him, he dropped his head and put an eye on me, and we had a kind of impromptu face off. He was puffed up and quilly, black with shades of white, and he held his chin at just above the gravel and didn’t move. Continue reading
For the last five minutes or so, six wild turkeys have been reaching for the last of last year’s fruit from one of our dwarf crab apple trees. Back-to-back snowstorms have elevated the birds such that with heavy hops up they can occasionally score fruit.
But mostly they miss. Mostly the turkeys have been going slowly around the tree, necks up-stretched, only to plunge time and again through snow up to their bellies. That and in-fighting, shoo-shooing each other away from the tree. Continue reading