The chickens and I worked companionably in the garden this evening, me pulling weeds and I love the sound it makes when the roots leave the ground, almost crisp, almost like cloth ripping. Twist and pull and the chickens made little noises of appreciation when they found something they liked.
Yesterday Owen had some gummy bugs and I said, "Owen, these are tasty bugs for boys!"
We talk about tasty bugs a lot around here, seeing as how so many of the creatures we love spend their days finding and eating them.
He liked that idea. Tasty bugs for boys.
He wanted me to push him around the yard yesterday in the old stroller. I do not know why but of course I did it. He had his toy cell phone flipped open and the whole time he was riding he was talking into it saying, "Come in, chickens!" and "Come in goats!" and "Come in trees!" and "Come in plants!" and "Come in!" to everything he saw- the cement pelican, the bucket, the mop hanging over the clothesline. But especially the chickens.
Oh yes, come in, chickens!
When they see us, those chickens, they run towards us as fast as they can, thinking as they do that we are mobile food dispensing machines. And to them, that is exactly what we are. The way they run is the most comical thing in the world. They heave their bodies from side to side as they hurtle across the ground. I do love my chickens. There is no doubt of that. Elvis, my beautiful rooster comes running to stand right beside me and he looks up as if to say, "Well? Where is it? Dispense the food, you human."
It is not so hot tonight and a few times a stiff breeze blew, almost cooler, and I foretasted fall. There are two tropical storms headed towards the Gulf right now in the general direction of the Yucatan and sometimes even storms that far away can seem to temper distant climes. Or maybe it has nothing to do with that at all, I don't really know, but I can taste the air and it tastes milder and I did not sweat as much as I usually do and it was a joy, being out there, even with the mosquitoes landing on my arms where the blood was closest the to the surface from my work, the pulling, the twisting. I felt almost like a social being with my chickens all around me.
It doesn't take much to make me happy.
And now there is nothing to do but change out of these overalls and decide whether I want to eat the leftovers from Thursday night (fish and okra and tomatoes) or steam some broccoli and cook some brown rice and make a sauce with nutritional yeast. I know, I know- that sounds not so good but believe me, it is delicious. At least to me it is. I have lemons, fat and beautiful to juice for the sauce if I want and I think I am leaning that way.
I feel at peace, I feel quiet in my soul, I feel restored in some strange good way. Perhaps again I am foretasting fall and the relief it will bring. I don't know. Tomorrow I may wake roiled and riled from dreams but then again, I may wake and go for a walk, testing out this muscle if that's what it is. I envision a long, slender line going from butt to leg, slightly inflamed but it hardly hurts now at all, the weeding, I think, was good for it.
This is life, isn't it? These days of nothing-much and sweetness, filled with noticing the passion flower, the cooler air, the two doves fluttering in the garden and then rising up and out as the chickens work around me, their contented clucks and trills keeping me company.
Yes. This is life as much or more than baking parking lots and roads filled with dinosaur blood-sucking cars and stores and wares and movies and parks and meetings and restaurants and chatter and clatter and noise and desire and craving and needing and joy and meeting and leaving and despair and answers and questions and more and too much and never enough.
That's what I think. Tonight, at least, that is exactly what I think and I am going to go put on the rice, one measure of grain, three of water, flame up and the click and hiss, turn it down and cut broccoli with my good sharp knife. I will grate a little nutmeg into the sauce.
A good day of very little. A grand day of it all.
And then sleep with a book on the bed beside me, another sort of company, and a good one.