the everyday

Life continues, as it does when one is not looking; the garden makes its roses, the orange trees flower and fruit and the fruit falls and lies in the dead leaves waiting to be cleaned up.  Across the street the blackberries come, although less than the year before; it is drought here, a severe one, dry and dust and surprisingly humid in these August days.  I am amazed the blackberries come at all when I think of it, that the plant has grown so and made so much fruit despite months without rain.  Stubborn, that one, and the thorns long and sharp and the fruit very sweet.  I think tomorrow I might go to pick some, if I can make the time.  The warm humid days tire me, not in the body but in the heart, too close and still outside, although today it was pleasant in the morning, a cool gray sky to start and more wind before the heat came.  I know there are people who love the summer, and in June even I am a little won over, but as always I am well sick of it now and waiting impatiently (but without true hope) for autumn wind and rain.

Last fall I crossed the continent to see my dear friend; this year only half of it, as we have decided to meet in the middle.  Five days, a feast beyond what I could have imagined, although many things to do in the time, not just the two of us together for the whole.  Still, I will see him some each day, and we may go to the ballet, and there will be some meals, one or two perhaps cooked together.  It hurts to think of it, so often I do not, but tonight I am finding that to avoid those thoughts which hurt is just another way not to live (had I not learned that already?  I am deeply annoyed with myself, well, good, then let it change) and I am sick of that as well.  Half-sick of Shadows, I might write, except I do not imagine myself the Lady of Shalott, languishing in her tower waiting to look at what must not seen and die of it.  No, I will turn, and look, and then live after all.  An image of the female artist as seen by a Victorian man, my excellent professor said, the contradictions made manifest, imprisoned, creating, but killed by her own vision.  A good thing we have reached the 21st century.

But I meant when I began this to write of the garden; my household has collaborated with another to make planter boxes and fill them with vegetables and thus we have been rich in tomatoes, zucchini and peppers for the last month or so.  It has slowed now, some the drought, some just the pause before another harvest, but still, it amazes and satisfies both, the richness of it, having food outside which one may simply go pick and eat.  After a hungry childhood, satisfying and surprising both, down into the bones.  I think from now on, wherever I live, I will try to have a garden which gives me food as well as flowers.


4 thoughts on “the everyday

  1. It is sad that you can see your dear friend so rare. From my side, side of the observer and reader of your stories – it is very romantic. Can you see that angle of the picture you are describing? Seems almost like you live in the book and I am the reader (which technically I am).

    Your garden enterprise makes me jealous. I reached the point in my life when I start dreaming about my own little hobby farm, grow my own vegetables, keep couple of horses and read books at the verandah in the evenings. Provided there are no mosquitoes ))

    • Yes, I do see it. I am pleased that you find it so, it means that my words do the work that I wish them to. After all, I make no claim for transparency here; it is the story of my life, not the life itself.

      I like your farm. Chickens too, or no? And the horses for riding?

      • You have your way with words that I like – I think I’ve told you that already. Your posts with nature observations remind me about books I’ve finished not so long ago: famous “Anne of Green Gables” followed by “Anne of Avonlea” and “Anne of the Island” by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Lots of pictures of quiet country life there that please me.

        As for my imaginary farm – chickens would be certainly good to keep for fresh eggs!
        Horses to ride of course. I used to ride when I was young guy of 18. Want to get back on horses. There is English sport of fox hunting in my neck of the woods going, though for the lack of foxes people either hunt coyotes or just follow the truck along with hounds. I’m getting too old to learn polo, would be glad to be able follow hounds .

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