Thursday, October 15, 2009
When I go out in the garden in the evening when the setting sun is painting the sky with streaky gold and blue and pink and pick the mustards and bring them in and wash them two times (because mustards will grab the sand and black dirt of Lloyd- believe me) and set them to dry on a white cloth and prepare the skillet with bacon and onion, I feel a connection with women who have lived here for one hundred and fifty years.
I planted these greens with my own two hands, tiny baby seeds, round as Owen's head, and I think of the bible verse about if you have faith as big as a mustard seed...
I have faith that my seeds will sprout and so they do and they grow up through the black sandy dirt and I pick them, pinching the stems between thumb and forefinger and put them in a bag and bring them into the house where I wash them.
I get the same feeling when I gather the eggs and feed my hens. I am doing something which is real. I am going out into my own tiny world and bringing back protein and bringing in folic acid and bringing in vitamins and minerals sprung up right here where I live.
I read articles about people who have "vowed" to live on food gathered no more than 125 miles from their homes and what sacrifices they will make and what they will have to do to make this vow a reality and I think about how one-hundred and fifty years ago, the people had no choice in the matter. Grow it and raise it, tend it and feed it, gather it and butcher it or die.
And then I think I want bees for the sugar and I want goats for the chev and I want pigs for the smoke house and I think how grateful I am for the venison, the grouper, the snapper, the bream.
And then I think about the mustard greens and I am happy to start there and also with the two fried eggs that Billy cooked on my stove for his lunch.
I am doing the best I can with this dirt, this house, this home. I swear I am. Doing the best I can and I know I can do better. I am sure I can. And this is MY astonishment. This is my wonder and task.