We've planted gardens on this land for nine years now. Many of those years we were part-timers, coming up to our "bit of earth" when we could manage it. Ever since we became full-time Vermonters we've loved being here for the whole growing season...from planting to harvest. We've never had trouble with deer.
Well, this summer our luck has changed. Several times we have found the beds overrun with hoof marks. In early August the deer trampled and chewed on my precious indigo crop. I nearly cried when I discovered the damage. But, indigo is resilient and much of it has grown back.
Rows of chard, beets and lettuce were chewed to the ground. Batman, fueled by his optimistic attitude planted new rows and crossed his fingers for a late fall harvest. This morning, I went out to water (it is dry here) and noticed that every beet green had been trimmed off and many of the globes had been pulled from the dirt.
So, I gathered them up and rinsed them and left them in a bowl on the counter. I went off to do other things to distract myself from the frustration.
I know those sweet fawns we see out in the meadow in the early summer grow up to be hungry deer. I just hoped they'd find what they needed out in the acres and acres of field and woods that spread out all around them.
Now we will need to consider ways to protect next summer's gardens.
Later today I'll cook up those little beets and put them in a jar to marinate. They will find their way into salads and bowls of grain.
And I will reluctantly send a tiny bit of gratitude to those lovely long legged neighbors for trimming the beet greens for me, releasing my frustration into the ether. There is just too, too much going on in the world right now to hang on to negativity.
This morning we woke up in the clouds. The house was nestled in a thick fog cover. Just a few minutes ago I looked up and found that the fog has shifted, as it often does, and rearranged itself around our place. And then I noticed that our friend Rhett had been over to do the brush hogging while we were away. You can see the top of the freshly mowed meadow just past the green lawn here.
And do you see all those tracks in the lawn? We've had a parade of wild turkeys wander through our yard most mornings at breakfast time. They congregate under the crab apple trees for a bit, checking on the supply of windfall apples before they parade across the road and up into our neighbor's meadow.
We've driven to Ohio and back since I last posted here. We were swept up into the flood of friends and family who had gathered for Batman's Dad's memorial service. What a celebration it was! Tim's sense of adventure, zest for life, passion for music and huge heart were just the beginning of his life's story!
Tim had an extensive CD collection of jazz and blues music which was dispersed among the kids and grand kids. We drove east yesterday to the fabulous rhythm of some fine '60's Chicago blues, and it felt like Tim's spirit might have been riding in the backseat.
Sometimes these epic occasions come and go...pulling generations together, reminding us of what is important in life, and then scattering us all back to daily life.
Our summer has been bookended by a wedding and a memorial service. Such richness of spirit.
The fog is lifting in our yard and in my heart. By paying attention to what is essential in life and taking time to celebrate it, we are able to hold on tight to love and then release it into the world. I am feeling lighter this morning, with a clearer focus for what comes next. And the hashtag to all of it is #love.
From the order of service for Tim's Celebration of Life...
When you are alive, you have a heart, and that's where you live. But when you die, your heart stops. That means you get to live in the hearts of everybody who was ever your friend and everybody who ever loved you. -from A Child's Understanding of Death
I am writing to you today to name the weight on my shoulders. It is grief.
I am holding it with me for a bit. I am honoring it and letting myself feel it.
The pictures from Texas are heart wrenching. Utterly staggering.
And as I watch the path of Irma, I am remembering the four years I lived in San Juan, Puerto Rico. I'm remembering my life as a young mother, birthing two babies on that island. Remembering enchanted evenings with dear friends, under the stars on our interior patio. Remembering the drumming circles in the Old City that lulled us to sleep on the weekends. Remembering the cobblestone streets, the pan de agua I'd buy through a hole in the wall bakery. Remembering the antique gentleman who I would buy fresh fruit from in the plaza, with an avocado "para hoy" and a free banana for "Estuar".
And I really can't wrap my head around the ruins in the Pacific Northwest. I have wended my way along those gorgeous roads, walked beneath Multnomah Falls, gazed out from overlooks and hiked trails where the fires are raging. Ash is raining down on my brother's deck. He is grateful for the air filtering system at his job site, it makes breathing easier. When will it stop burning?
And DACA. The cruelty of this #notmypresident is stunning.
All of this nipping at the heels of our family's loss of our beloved Abi Tim. It feels a bit crushing.
For those of us who have been paying attention, these catastrophic disasters have us shaking our heads in recognition of difficult truths. We just cannot go on like this.
But for now, I am just naming it and feeling it.
My usual resiliency is missing.
I will rally. That is what I do. But for just a little bit, I am depending on the illumination of a candle to keep me connected to some small bit of hope.
Know that I am keeping thoughts of all of you, dear readers, and our whole human family close to my heart. We are all in this together.
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