"What do you plan to do with your one, wild, precious life?" -Mary Oliver

Friday, June 21, 2013

The Blackbird and the Strawberry

Observe the girl eating a strawberry. Observe the cattle observing her. They line the electric fence bordering the patch and watch with unblinking eyes. Some become bored with her repetition and chomp on grass, others chew their cuds as the calves scamper to and fro. They follow her progress along the 300-foot row and jostle each other for a view. Their fence runs out. Her row continues. She leaves them behind. 
Her fingers seek the silver dollar-sized berries hidden under the leaves in the center of the plant, heavy with ripeness and replete with moisture, nestled out of sight of the most keen-sighted blackbird. She holds them by the stem and drops them in the box.

The strawberry plant is the perfect camouflage, the perfect fruit. It needs no fungicides or chemicals. It needs no genetic tinkering. She regrets her father's position.
The odor from the animals wafts on the whip of their tails, earthy and fungal, not unpleasant, but memory-laden. The cattle, the grass, fresh cut hay in the air and holding hands in the night. A memory.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Cocoon

I've been gone so long I can scarce find my way back. I've missed coming around and reading your blogs and participating in Friday Flash Fiction and Magpie Sunday Tales. In case my blog should disappear from lack of interest, I click on it ocassionally to look at the water. But all too quickly, I'm called away to my lettuces and radishes, radicchio and kale, picking asparagus and tending finicky peppers that need this and that and tomatoes that must soon be staked. And then there are the weeds.

I fall into bed at night, earlier and earlier, like the most boring person on earth. In the wee hours of morning I look at my manuscript, portions stacked here and there (cause I'm a hands-on-paper kind of writer), and wonder how long I can persevere in my search for the perfect agent who will love its strengths more than they dislike its problems.

Spring and summer are always like this, no time to write, guilt-ridden at nightfall, but too tired to do anything about it. Achy legs find surcease between the sheets and achy heart burrows into the soft cocoon of blankets and dreams of water, an orderly garden, and a writing life.

But wait....have you ever had Canada geese fly overhead so low you could hear the whoosh whoosh of their wings? I was standing on my front porch admiring the idyllic scene of cattle on grass, when I heard the familiar honking of a resident pair. They flew in just over the power lines with their necks outstretched. I was surprised at the intensity of sound, much like the flapping of a dozen sheets on a clothesline. Geese fly slow and methodical, and the air displaced by their wing span left a tremor in the air. I watched as they disappeared over the tree line, wondering at their destination, wondering what they see from up there.