Thursday, September 29, 2016

pruning ... past the point of no return

my hands smell like cedar
cedar that thoroughly protests being pruned
scraping away at my skin with branches and bark
poking at my feet with long ago broken off stumps
depositing spiders and dust into my eyes and anywhere it can reach

inner branches show the evidence of long years without sunlight
many short spurts toward the sun
giving up in despair

life shows finally at the finger tips
of long branches that are only mostly dead...

they smell good, dead or alive

I've passed the point of no return
the poor cedars now announce to the neighborhood
   that an amateur is pruning them

Only years of sunlight will redeem them

...already showing stubborn determination

little green shoots springing from the thick limbs

Friday, September 2, 2016

batman and other things that cannot be rushed

Thunder rolls through my open kitchen windows, together with the sounds of children returning to school on this September morning.  My oven fan has gone all night, dehydrating the first batch of apples from my friend’s next door neighbor’s exuberant apple tree.  My kitchen still holds much of the apple debris.  Twelve hours, including one flip of apple rings, finishes about fourteen apples.  Some get sauced.  We’ll go till the oven gives out with condensation and needs to be dried out itself.  It can go about 4 days before protesting. 

These are long, slow things
dehydrating apples, growing apples 
watching my morning glories and cosmos take over a corner of the yard 
babies stretching toward independence. 

Yesterday was the day to make beet borscht.  
It has been years – maybe decades since I last made a batch.  
Inspired in part by the woman at the Winnipeg market 
who bought dill and beets in bunches to fill her cart, 
grinning in anticipation of filling her freezer.  
She told us she loved to make huge batches to serve her family over the winter.

So yesterday my batman grandson and toddling granddaughter and I stopped at the farmer’s market to pick up the necessary ingredients.
“What do you need, Batman?” asked the wonderful vendor.
 Batman grinned and picked out the bag of dill. 
“What else, Batman?” he asked again.  I told Batman we needed potatoes.  So he quickly picked up a bag of potatoes.  Then beets.  Carrots?  Nope.  We have carrots in our garden.  Onions.  Remind me to plant those next year.  But this year we need to buy them.  All the vegetables ready to burst with their just pulled from the ground crunch.

Long, slow things when piled up over the years feel like a heartbeat of time.