Lilac has perfumed the air and blossomed; the wind and rain have blown away spent blooms but not before we gathered flowers to infuse in a syrup that’s handy to soak pound cake with, drizzle over pancakes, or add a splash to lemonade later in the year, a reminder of lovely lilac days. Spring is moving along fast. Knotweed, garlic mustard, and burdock are all big and past their tender tasty prime. Lambs quarters are popping up with milkweed shoots, asparagus is on its way to ferning, and we’re on our hands and knees turning over wormy dirt where cabbages, broccoli, chard, kale, and lettuce are being given homes. The roses have begun budding and yellow jackets are buzzing around looking for a spot to make their nests. Little Leif has come and gone. He spent many a day away from his desert home in these lush mountains, waking to the sound of Lordly Cock crowing, popping out to gather eggs. He’d put things down on the grasses, where they would disappear from sight, swallowed by the tall greenery . . . . and oh, his expression, then the search! Fingers parting the swathes, peeking, crawling nose to ground, looking for his marbles!
Too quickly the days are passing, one day to the next, one week to another, year to year; again we’re doing a garden, and though gardens are being done yearly, they’re never the same, giving what’s given to them . . . piquing curiousity, for in a garden is made visible the fluctuations all around. Even while the earth feels sure beneath the feet and hands it is turning turning and we with it, pulling cinquefoil here leaving it there, choices being made moment to moment, peas or dock? Is there room for both? Where to make the cuts with chicory and evening primrose, both beloved by bees and butterflies so beautiful, yet they’ll outgrow and crowd out chard and swallow the basil; choices choices that shape a patchwork crazy quilt that shows fully its story later, as the days and weeks and months keep turning.
Today under the row covers we found ditches formed by the downpour a few days ago, a rain so hard it flooded the driveway, making it un-driveable until early evening. Surely it would have remained flooded, three creeks instead of one, had the leaves, logs, and branches not been moved out where they were damming up the flow, sending water bursting through the banks, frothing and rushing downstream into the big river at the bottom of the mountain, which in turn flooded out through porches and swing sets onto the road. Though the driveway’s cleared, it’s scarred and marked, rutted by the passage of water eroding the earth; here and there are sand and gravel islands.
When I drive it, I’m reminded of the Karachi roads where I learned to drive; zig zag zoo, together up together down, around a pothole here, a mountain of a speedbump there, another ditch and groove, year round bump and go dirt roads . . . . though I’ve heard tell in the years between now and then those roads remain only in my memory, having been smoothed out and paved by machinery and advancements in that land; ironic that I live on a country road in an already advanced country that rivals those roads now! Turn turn churn, East to West, West to East, sometimes it feels like we’re all wildly whirling in opposite directions from where we originate, thus shifting and moving this to that and that to this, eroding being eroded replenished absorbed reshaping where we are based on where we’ve been in a musical chairs medley until Haughty Heron flies overhead and lands on a swaying branch, peers down his long long nose and says, Hmm, I’ve seen this all before, now where are the fish? Corn Woman grins at him in response.
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