Two Little Thought Streams
Updated: Aug 31, 2020
I honor those who try
to rid themselves of lying
who empty the shell
and have only clear being there
How were you introduced to the Earth? Was there a formal introduction? When did you first learn of moss? Were you alone or was someone there with you? Did you place your palm on it, like the slowest, softest high five? Did you step down on it and marvel at your footprint in its crushed flesh? Did you kneel down to sniff, imagine yourself a Wolf huffing up Stories? Did you suddenly become aware that a deer had not long passed by?
My first Memory of moss is on Stone. There was a boulder that sat in the middle of the cow field, surrounded by willows. I remember picking at patches of green and reddish brown over cold, pockmarked grey. My fingernails would be stuffed with moss mulch and smell of sweet Earth. My second moss Memory is at the base of the dark trees that stood in the field behind the barn, where I would go to collect pine cones. I remember the scent of the dry needles, the sponge of the terrain beneath my feet. That small grove was an empire to me. I could speak Light Through Trees then, read Deciduous Jazz Hands, understand Evergreen Moan Music. There was always a lot going on in the Kingdom.
The moss was fatter on the trees, had a bit more Meat. Not like the moss on the West coast, which is unabashedly plump against the cedars. With bubbled moss like that, there’s sometimes the temptation to peel it off the bark like a scab, which might be fascinating at the time, but then the moss would no longer be engaged in its slow dance with the tree and rain. Soft finger touches work best. Sometimes, especially on a late autumn afternoon, its nice run your finger over a mound of Moss the way you would along a Lover’s cheek. Nature likes it when you flirt. Make the first move for once. Here She is, about to turn her Birch leaves to Gold, and She’s wondering how many Poems Her Autumn will garner this year. She receives so few now, not like the Old Time, when there were libations by the day. She savours every one now.
It’s the late afternoon. The chickens are fed, the garden watered where needed. The big sprinkler fell over and there was a bit of a kerfuffle getting things righted. I should have turned the Water off first, but I feel refreshed, so it’s all good.
One Baby chicken is sick. He can’t walk. She’s in a bucket alone with Food and Water, but appears to be weakening. The rest are doing fine, and if I wear my sandals into their little pen, they peck at my toes. Their adult feathers are starting to come in now. It all goes so fast. The Meat birds will meet their end soon. It’ll be my first time butchering since I was young and I’m curious how I'll do.
Life and Death live here, right close. When you live in a city you mostly perceive Death through a screen. There’s a layer of sterility over nearly everything, so you can’t easily get your roots down anywhere. That urbanized layer between Life and Death gets hardened over time, but it’s like glass, prone to shatter when the right Tragedy flies your way. And it always does.
Here I have layers of towels over nine cooling jars of Middle Eastern Pickled Cauliflower. None of the jars burst in the water bath – a Triumph. My giant copy of Country Wisdom and Know How (found at the local used bookstore for just 11 Canadian money dollars) promises that the cauliflower will turn bright pink from the beet pieces. I wonder how much zing the slice of horseradish will provide. The wait to find out will give me time to find the right aged cheddar and to design a suitable cracker or flat bread accompaniment. The blueberries I picked this morning were turned into a simple compote, which was then stirred into vanilla Ice cream. The other half of the Ice cream was dotted with dollops of raspberries that had been crushed with sugar and vodka. The enormous jar of raspberry vinegar is a red beacon upon the counter. The levain is in an Ice cream bucket in the pantry, going to work on itself for tomorrow’s Sourdough.
I think I’ll have a cup of Tea.
Love and warmth to you, who is reading this. I hope you’ve beheld Beauty today.