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After the storm passed there was a strange light all around like the sky was being lit by a rainbow. We went out in the ephemeral glow. Hot August remembered itself and we were in our underwear. We stood on the pink bench in the yard to look over the pasture and gardens. In the orchard someone started running and then I started running.

I ran as fast as I could on the wet, mowed grass barefoot. Very fast, on the edge of control, I teetered. Like riding a horse too fast, I balanced on the edge of speed and danger and trust and… Down the little hill and around the orchard we ran. I’m an old man so I don’t last vey long pushing the limits of my body.

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In the morning I went out to clear the beaver’s work and open the culvert in preparation for the rains. I had to eat first and I stopped in the raspberries, Autumn Bliss. I picked handfuls and rolled them slightly in my palm looking for obvious insects. I don’t look too close. If I look too close I might see little larva in the fruits that are over-ripe.

On the way back through the orchard, I grabbed a number of Asian pears. We’ve been eating them for a long time under-ripe, peeling the skins with our teeth and spitting it out. But now the fruits are turning golden. There is a metaphor in there somewhere. If we savor things before they’re ripe then what happens when the full flavor comes? We are like Romeo enjoying Rosaline before Juliet.

When people stopped planting fruit trees in suburban yards the warning flags should have gone up. These baby boom children who roamed the neighborhood with Boo Radley, they all climbed cherry trees and gorged on apple trees planted by their grandparents. This was back when there was one silver screen. You can forgive them their innocence.

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And now for your poetry. I do so enjoy these conversations. We like the wind and the trees. I can not hear myself but I have something to blow through.

Yes, everybody is trying to be happy. Trying to be happy gathering in for a storm. Trying to be happy laying up stores for the winter. Trying to be happy making out better than the next gal. Trying to be happy when the fruit trees are bearing. Trying to be happy when the mortgage is paid. Trying to be happy in the moment.

So theres no blame and no shame in trying to be happy, in trying to find happiness through profit off others or in deception or the suffering of others. Everybody is trying to be happy.

Problem is everybody’s trying to be happy. Problem is trying.

So stop trying. Stop trying to be happy everyone. Happiness happens when you stop trying to be happy, when you stop searching for conditions.

It’s like falling asleep. You can’t will it to happen. You just do it. Happiness sneaks up on you when you least expect it. When you’re not trying to find it, it is there.

The strange light is shining across the sky wiped clear of conditions and you just start running. Happy as a crazy jay bird in your underwear across the orchard. That’s how it happens. You don’t plan for it. You don’t work toward it. You don’t learn how to achieve it. It’s just there, when you stop grasping after it.

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I figure the Cavendish need a proper introduction. And where there is a will there is a way. It helps (sometimes) to be clear and concise when you’re expressing yourself. It might even help to be plainspoken when you’re creating secret code language to effectively communicate a complex idea with a single word. But I am going to begin in a backwards way.

There are choices that you make in your life that might go against the grain. Heck, there are even thoughts and feelings you may have that set you apart from “the common man,” as she is today. I’m talking about actions that don’t physically hurt anyone. I’m talking about decisions that aren’t harmful. And ideas, well, ideas are the stuff of dreams anyway, more insubstantial than Shakespeare’s pageant faded and “as thin of substance as the air, more inconstant than the wind”.  Ideas never hurt anybody, right?

What I want you to remember is that though these choices set you apart, though these ideas may set you at odds with others. No matter what they say, you are still beautiful. And, believe it or not, if you can see clearly, the Cavendish are beautiful too. Think of them like your children trying to push your buttons and answer them with positive attention. Answer them with love. Answer fear with love. So, I’m not being plain enough, am I?

We’ve been watching this film at home called The Fruit Hunters, directed by Yung Chang (2013) and based on the book by Adam Gollner. It struck home with me on a number of counts.  I identify with the dream that is inherent in their quest. To walk out your door to an Eden where there is always the choicest ripe fruit ready for plucking, it must be the dream of thousands. Certainly, it was in the imagination of the Okies as they “scattered wives and childrens” trying to get to the California Peach Bowl.

In the course of watching that film a stark difference was presented. Here on the one hand, they had these half-crazed people out in remote parts of the globe searching for unique varieties of fruit trees, going to great effort to preserve the genetic diversity of a 200 year old pear tree, or a 130 foot (40 meter) mango tree. And on the other hand, you had the ubiquitous grocery store banana. I learned from the film that this banana’s varietal name is, you guessed it: Cavendish. It is the only variety of banana used in the world export market. And the film shows the Cavendish in great green stacks in the supermarket, but you’ve seen them.

So here we are. Isn’t it a beautiful spot? We have before us a choice. There is the one hand and then there is the other. At this point, you don’t have to make value judgements. You don’t have to bring in notions of right and wrong. To some people, survival of the human species is not necessarily a good thing. And most times, I’m not inclined to argue with folks. Let’s just leave it as a choice, all right? Here is your ground. What are you going to grow? That’s the predicament we’re in, you and I. See? It’s our decision what we grow. Even if you let somebody make the decision for you, that is your decision.

Now I don’t know if you’ve been down in the jungle with me and my barefoot friends tasting the wild fruit that grows in the Greater Antilles. Maybe you’ve never seen a mango, let alone begun to imagine the hundreds of varieties and how they taste, one like a “warm bath that you don’t want to get out of” apparently. And the varieties cross pollinate to make new varieties. You never know how they’re going to turn out. They taste in unimaginable ways.

I guess what I’m trying to say is that they are just like you. You can be as wild and unique as you want. You are free. Or graft yourself on a variety that you are partial to. Graft on a variety that does not ship, if you want. Graft on a variety that is unique to mountain soils. It’s okay. And, perhaps most importantly of all, be a Cavendish if you want to. It is a beautiful choice. It is not my choice but beautiful nonetheless.

This brings me to the decision we made to homeschool/unschool our children. Was that an easy enough transition, or did you need something more there? To be clear, we’re not being fruit anymore we’re human beans again. We are human beings and we need our education (don’t listen to people who fly pigs, education is sure necessary (note the correct usage of a tautology in passing, not at all ironical). Actually, we’re gonna get our education it if we like it or not. See here. So I was ecstatic when, Ben ‘I sure as shit ain’t a hippie’ Hewitt, published a phenomenal article in Outside Magazine on the topic.

Take some time and read the article, if you haven’t. I thought it was a near-perfect encapsulation of a lot of the ideas on education (and I can’t think of any that I don’t support) that he’s discussed more disparately on his blog.

Do you see how these two issues are the same? Do you see how the institutional schooling and commodity export bananas is a very similar thing? (If you don’t, let me know. I’m happy to expand on the idea for you) Would you agree that these two things represent fairly well an idea of what some might call “the system”?

I remember when I was a kid and if you heard some song playing in a restaurant or shop, it was instant death. That musician had sold out. Another artist consumed by the system. And my friends and I, we were in a band, we’d talk about how we’d never sell out. Not selling out can be a difficult thing. It gives Banksy has a hard time when Angelina Jolie pays millions for him to take a piss. It’s all the same thing. You can get swollowed by the system, eaten by the Cavendish as it were, without being aware of it for goodness sakes! And how’s that analogy working out anyway?

But the Cavendish look different to me now than they did when I was a teenager.  I see the soft edges and the hard edges. Sometimes you can tell when a Cavendish has lost faith. Things almost always look different when you’re on your deathbed. I’d say the Cavendish has lost a lot of ground since 2008, but that’s just my read on things.

So I don’t know if Cavendish is going to stick or not. It’s not quite as good as how the Amish call all of us “English”. But sometimes it’s nice to have a clean term to work with. Good words like intolerance or fascist can get used up quick.

The Cavendish jumped on my friend in the comments of his article in Outside Magazine. Poor guy, I knew how he felt. My family did the same thing to me when I was sitting by myself around this big banquet table on a weekend outing, them on one side and me on the other. Like Tupac, ‘it’s just me against the world, baby’. I was trying to make those arguments that Hewitt was making. It was a horrible experience. Things have not been the same with my family since and that was three years ago.

So after I read about how the Cavendish had been “angry and vitriolic” in response to his article. I wanted to do something. First, I wanted to take the fight to the Cavendish. But what am I going to do, eh? I’ve seen the Cavendish argue on websites before and it is sheer madness.

I’ve learned over the years, in my great wisdom and with a growing numbers of grey hairs, that a lot of times the best solution is to first love yourself and then love the other person. I remember when I lived in Boston and was going to see Thich Nhat Hanh for the first time and a lady got up and asked some question like, “What are we going to do about George Bush?” And Thay told her, “Write him a love letter.” So that’s what that post, “How to Deal with the Cavendish” was all about. If it was working for you before, I hope I didn’t ruin it.

When I was surrounded by Cavendish at that banquet table, when I was being attacked by Cavendish that I love, I remember one of them making repeated reference to “the real world”. That stuck with me. “But in the real world…”, he was saying.

So I want you to remember this too: Cavendish don’t get to decide what the real world is. (Cavendish can act like the cult to end all cults.)

I find it very helpful to understand at a deep level that, like Adya says, “I know nothing for sure except ‘I am’”. In most situations, I’m very prepared to be wrong, to give up my belief, to disbelieve whatever I’m saying. And if I’m not prepared to be wrong, then I remind myself: “100% of your thoughts are not true, but only 100%”. But this kind of thinking and talking is too much to get into with the Cavendish.

It is better just to look past the vitriol and anger. It’s best to look (sometimes very, very deeply) to the positive source from which confusion or fear is coming. And it is hard, but what you do is love that which is behind the fear. Like I said earlier, when your kid is seeking attention through negative behavior, you look past the negative behavior, you leap frog it and you give a loving response. The negative behavior is just a bit of confusion really. No worries.

Cavendish are important. We are a reflection of them. And they are a reflection of us.

Lastly, for some reason this song, Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues, was tied into all this somehow. Maybe it was like a theme song, playing in the background. Maybe it was just that I was associating the “anger and vitriol” with the word “negativity” in the wonderful first verse, where he says “negativity don’t pull you through”. So that’s how I’m going to end this. I’m going to end it with that song. Go throw it on the turn table you damn hippies!

“When you’re lost in the rain in Juarez, when its Easter-time too, And your gravity fails and negativity don’t pull you through. Don’t’ put on any airs when you’re down on Rue Morgue Avenue. They got some hungry women there and they’ll really make a mess out of you.”

And some quotes:

I’ve heard you say many times that you’re better than no one and no one is better than you. If you really believe that you know you have nothing to win and nothing to lose. – Dylan

We are what we are, that’s the way it’s going to be, if you don’t know – Bob Marley

Not everybody can be a slave of the corporate state – Banksy

Not everybody can be a Cavendish banana – Eumaeus

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You’ll notice in the picture at the top that I ain’t even started getting my wings out yet.

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Oh Cavendish, do not be angry and vitriolic. The world is a beautiful place. Even suburbs are beautiful (from 30,000 feet).

Cavendish, I do love you. I’ve not come do destroy you. I understand the greatness of your achievements. You have built this great system. You’ve built this great and interconnected system.

There is value in what you provide and I won’t take that away. I’ve not come to take anything away from you.

You can call me names if you want, Cavendish. You can call me a hippie or a punk. You can call me an elitist or a parasite.

I will listen if you call me a scoundrel, Cavendish. I will listen and I will think, “maybe I am a scoundrel”. But then I’ll remember (thinking of my own thoughts): “100% of your thoughts are not true, but only 100%”. And I’ll smile inside, Cavendish, I’ll smile inside at the truth of that.

I am completely prepared to give everything up, all of it. I am not tied to anything. It is a dangerous position to be in. But this is the way of the world, don’t you see?

We are what we are, that’s the way it’s going to be.”

But Cavendish, let me say, if I haven’t said it well enough yet, that I hope you forgive me. I don’t mean to spurn you. I don’t mean to antagonize you. Like I said, Cavendish, I love you.

But I won’t ride in the container with you, Cavendish. I won’t ripen on the racks. I won’t breath in the fumes, Cavendish. I won’t taste like you, Cavendish.

It is impossible. I must be this. I must be what I am.

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These fish are on a mountain top, stranded without water.

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This boy has to go through military checkpoints to visit his grandma.

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This is the place where the riots broke out when a boy was murdered by the police.

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This is the death of a loved one.

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This is the hallowed memorial to the struggle of thousands who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

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This is the one who so loved the world that he gave his wings and then his life with only love in his heart.

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We will only ever live in this churning swirl of life. Let’s be drowned in the waters.

 

 

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We have five swings hanging from the catalpa tree, three kids and five swings. The best, in my opinion, is the rope swing with a wooden board for a seat. It’s the longest and they go the highest on it. I had a swing like it when I was a kid. It was on the neighbor’s tree, put there by someone else’s family. And I knew where there was a different rope swing, even better, down the road. But you had to ride bikes to it.

Here on the catalpa, the kids’ favorite is the second longest one. It is a traditional swing with two six-foot chains coming down to a flexible, plastic seat but at the top of the chains its attached to a board and the board is attached to one rope. And the ground under it is mostly flat. So there is no direction implied. The kids usually go in circles, wide lazy circles.

It’s my daughter’s birthday and my son is riding that swing in big circles. He’s holding two bunches of Concord grapes in one hand, eating ‘em one by one. He spits out the skins then the seeds while he keeps the circles going with his feet. And he’s wearing a desert-camo, patrol cap.

All the Dolgo apples, so tart and nice, they’re gone. They shined up so pretty. And the Gold Rush are ripening, bending down the branches.

We got a robin in the yard now that thinks she’s the boss of us all. I’m sitting under that robin’s nest now. It’s in the catalpa. And looking over, I see the old phoebe nest on the house, empty where the little ones fledged. I was worried about that phoebe on top of the gutter there, under the eaves, when we were shooting off fireworks, celebrating the glorious revolution. We had guests over and I remember asking, “do you think you’ll live to see another revolution”? And it didn’t make sense to ‘em. ‘What could there possibly be to fight for?’, they seemed to say. And they mentioned something about democracy. And I said, “well, if people didn’t feel like they were represented by their government…” And I might as well of been a phoebe chirping. I might as well of said ‘cheerily-cheerio-cheer up.’

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My daughter’s got her birthday dress on and it is getting dirty in the late summer dust. Mama painted her toe nails pink and they are in the dusty dirt at the bottom of the oldest swing.

Our youngest is two and a half years old. He just went down for nap with a boob in his mouth. He’s so big now. He gets into funny positions when he nurses. He’ll lay down on her breast and have one leg and one arm straight out steady, like half of a motionless cartwheel, laying there sucking like a master. Both our other kids stopped nursing not too long after the wife was pregnant, around 2 years old.  So we’ve never had as big a baby nursing. And what’s it like to grow up like that and nurse on demand for maybe three years or more? Mama’s never been away from him for more than a few hours. They’ve got no damned schedule. They’ve got no damned agenda. My wife likes to nurse. My boy likes to nurse. I don’t know what it means for him that it is always there for him when he needs it. I don’t know what conception of God or super-ego he’ll make of it later in life or if he’ll bother.

And I don’t care if you pump your breasts with a machine, feed your baby on a schedule and switch to all solids at eight months. People got every right to do things however they see fit. Folks got every right to listen to as many experts as they want. And you can be as middle-of-the-road as you want to. But, gods be praised, you can push the envelope if you want to as well. I figure the world needs the lot of it. And it may be that it needs the exceptional cases the most.

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I sit here on this old, knotty, round log of firewood that wouldn’t split. The kids used to use it get on the rope swing. They’re too big for it now and they were hitting their feet on it when they went so we moved it out of the way. I sit there at the base of the catalpa tree. We’ve got one A/C going in one window cooling one room. It is hot and my big boy is begging to swim in the pond. Every so often I’ll hear a wing beat and look up to see a robin return to the nest. The almost-fledglings will stand up and beg. And I don’t know if it’s just mama feeding those nestlings but even if she’s got a partner, she works hard. So I suppose I don’t blame her for barking at me so bossy. And I’m not surprised that I see her so often with caterpillars in her beak. She’s got four almost-fledglings to feed. And that’s exceptional to me.

One of these days our kids’ll be grown enough to take guns into the woods. They’ll be big enough to take responsibility to help us out, if’n when they see fit. And, I don’t know, I’m  not looking forward to that time, I’m just sayin’ its bound to happen. And in the interim, our orchard trees are growing. We loved that peck of Dolgo apples that we ate at the end of July. But I got twenty five more dolgo saplings that are mostly taller than my biggest boy already. Lots of folks ask, ‘what are you going to do with all that fruit?’ And I don’t know. I can’t really say I have faith enough in anything to answer them. I never had a problem with abundance like that before. Maybe we’ll freeze down some cider and get drunk.

 

“I don’t worry what road to take, I don’t have to think of that. Whatever I take is the road I make, it’s the road of life make no mistake”

 – Thomas O’Malley

 

 

Green Frog

This morning a storm rolled through starting at about 5:30 a.m. The power went out at about 6 a.m. When the storm finally passed, dawn had broken. I went out and looked at the rain gauge. The water was still sheet washing over the drive and down at the bottom and where Persimmon creek runs over the road, everything was backed up. Water was going over the road. It comes down quick on Persimmon creek because it’s just bean and corn in the small watershed above. There is no sponge to soak things up when it comes down fast. The gauge said almost 3 and 1/2 inches (89 mm) in less than a hour.

With our tax return money I’d bought a generator but never used it yet. Most of the time, I have to be forced to do things I’ve never done. And I’ve never used a generator before so, after four or so hours without electricity, I finally un-boxed the thing and sat down with the directions. As usual, once I got it running it seemed not to be such a daunting task. The thing fired up nice and easy and hummed there on the porch and I plugged in the chest freezer and then the fridge.  We ran the generator a few hours and cleaned the house then gave it a rest when the baby was going to go down for a nap.

I went out when the wife was laying down with the baby, nursing. I walked under the oaks and out into the orchard toward the dam. I’d been out earlier in the morning to clear the beaver work and get water going out the culvert again. When I’d been out earlier the beaver had been there. He was trying to stay on top of things with the early morning rain. Usually he is only on the night shift. My son was with me and the beaver smacked at us on the water with his tail.

It was past mid-day now when I was going back out to make sure it was flowing good. And as I approached it looked like the beaver had been back out there, working on things a little after I’d left. Or else the sticks had been pushed by the water into a particularly beaver-like placement. I was trying to decide which it was when I about stepped on a northern water snake (Nerodia sipedon). He was sitting in the middle of my two spoil piles where I take beaver sticks and mud and pull them from around the culvert and pile them up on either side, depending on if I’m working with my right or left hand. I was able to get a decent look at the water snake when he stopped for a second once he’d gotten out from under my foot and before going under the water. He wasn’t too long and had a nice reddish color with bright pattern.

I wish water snakes were more fond of people. I used to look at them a lot when I was a kid and in the creek. They seemed to be a little less wary there. And I used to see a lot of them. Here on the farm I don’t see them so often and never for very long.

Just when I got busy clearing out the channel that the water runs down, through the cattle panel and to the wire cage that we have over the culvert, a medium-sized green frog (Lithobates clamitans) jumprf from near my feet toward the water. I grabbed it. It jumped out of my hand and I caught it in the air. Again, it jumped out of my hand and I caught it in the air. I laughed and put it in my pocket. Then I finished clearing the grates till the water was flowing good.

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When I was done, I took the frog out of my pocket. I always think of Arliss (from the Disney movie) from Old Yeller when I do such things. Indeed, the character in that movie is still an idol of mine. I took my green frog out of my pocket and looked at him as I walked across the dam. I’m going to say him, but I’m not sure what the sex was. Poor thing, he had a bunch of lint on him. So I took a step or two out on the dock and dipped him in the water then looked at him shining wet in the sun. He was a good thing to look at up close. So I decided I’d look at him as long as he would let me.

I laid down on the boards of the dock and rested on my elbows and forearms with my hands still cupped around the frog. Then I opened up my hands and looked at him. And the sun was shining down pretty strong on the back of my legs and the frog was in the shadow of my hat. I’ve got one of those $5 straw hats with the green, accountant visors on the front so if I moved my head too much the frog would be in the green reflected light. And there he was this frog. He was about the size of a black walnut with the hull and everything. And he sat there, free to jump away, in my slightly cupped hands.

I watched his heart beat. I watched his throat pulse under his mouth. I watched his skin dry and his nostrils open. I don’t know if those are even called nostrils but they’re tiny dots of openings at the tip of his nose. I’m under the impression that frogs breath through their skin. I watched as he seemed to change to a speckled golden color on his back. I looked at how he had his feet this way and that and wondered if he was ready to jump. Mainly though, I looked at his eyes.

His pupils were dilated and his heart was beating pretty fast. Poor thing, I hope I didn’t scare him too much. I don’t know much about what it is like to be a frog but being in somebody’s pocket that you don’t know can’t be much fun if you don’t want to be there. But he was effectively free now. And he sat there looking at me, wide-eyed. His pupils were black and ringed with gold. Where my eyes are like a hazel-blue, his were golden and black but mostly golden, beautiful golden. I don’t know how long I’d been holding him, but I think he’d calmed down and his heart was beating slower and his pupils were less dilated, when he was suddenly startled at something. His body tensed up and his eyes got really wide. I don’t know if it was a big dragon fly that was flying by or what, but he calmed down quick after that.

His body was in a new position on my hand. I hadn’t moved but his neck and chest were somehow on pressed against my hand so that I could feel his heart beating. I wondered if he’d done that on purpose. We stayed there for a long time. I was very interested in looking into his eyes. And he was seemingly equally, or perhaps more-so interested in looking into mine. But I got the feeling he wasn’t just looking in my eyes but looking at everything else as well. I tried to just focus on his eyes. I was very interested in seeing them. I was very interested in seeing any changes. And I wanted to be looking closely when he moved or jumped away. I was successful in watching his skin change color again, like a chameleon or a marlin, and become flecked gold. I don’t think it was the sun’s light doing this on his back. I think he was in control of it.

And I looked and looked at his eyes as much as a man can look at something, I looked in that frog’s eyes. The geese came down to the water to drink across the pond and I looked up at them. Then back at the frog’s eyes. A fish snatched some insect off the water-shield plants and I looked up to see the ripples where it’d happened. Then I focused back to the frog’s eyes. I thought a little bit while I was thus consumed. I didn’t think too much but I did think. I wasn’t trying to be interested in the frog’s eyes, because I was interested in the frog’s eyes. But still I thought about other things, the sun, the geese, the fish, the dragonflies. I don’t know that I was trying to do anything. I sure wasn’t trying to think anything. I guess I was just trying to be with the frog.

Here he was, this frog of mine. He’d tried to jump away from me two or three times and now he was just sitting on my hand breathing calmly, looking at me, being with me. I guess, if I was trying to do anything it was trying to be with him just like he was being with me. And he was so good at it. I did realize how bad I was at it. I did realize what a burden this mind is to try and do such things. But it was a blessing to be with him like that. I don’t know how long it lasted. Maybe it was 15 minutes. Maybe it was a half hour. I don’t think it was an hour.

It was very similar to what had happened with the praying mantis but with the praying mantis everything happened quicker. Just like with the frog, I’d picked up the mantis and he’d jumped out and I’d caught him in the air and that happened twice, just like with the frog. Then I’d taken my straw hat off and put him int it and pressed the hat to my chest and walked to the house to show my son. And when we were standing in the back yard, I took down my hat and let the mantis crawl on my thumb and hand. And I held him up pretty close to my face to look at him. And the mantis was more amazing to look at because he moved his head so much. And the way they move their head, I don’t know, there is something about it. And the mantis had eyes that were like holes in space, like they were see-through. And I wanted to look at him for a long time. But It was just a brief moment with the mantis.

With the green frog, that moment was sustained. And it struck me that being with the frog was a lot like meditation. And I understand that people who meditate have a hard time letting their thoughts come and go without grasping at them and following them. And it was the same for me, with the geese and the fish, and I was returning to my frog, just like some people return to their breath in meditation. And do you know what meditation is? Meditation is a technique to stop believing in your thoughts and know you are God. And, I don’t know that I will go into it too much here. This is better fodder for Eumaeus Pointing at the Moon. But I should say that this could be the only practice. This could be the only religion. A frog or a mantis is the only thing that you need to know the truth.

Then the green frog took a step up toward my thumb and later another step up till he was perched there. And after another long time of being perched like that with a straight shot to the water, he jumped down onto the dock next to my hands and then down the dock toward land a few hops. It was then that I got worried for him in case there were some patrolling bass or a big blue gill that might be able to swallow him. So I asked him if he’d mind if I picked him up and started to do so. And when I had him in my hand he jumped off and this time I didn’t catch him but he swam off chirping to shore.

I walked back through the orchard, along the row of hazelnuts, under the ripening plums, under the oaks, into the yard and onto the porch. I opened the door and my wife was strangely gesticulating with a paint brush in her hand. The baby was asleep and she was trying to be quiet. And she was pointing this way and that in an odd and happy manner. She was gesturing wordlessly at the the electronic devices in the house. The power was back. The whir of normalcy returned. I plugged the fridge and the freezer back into the wall. The baby woke up. We turned on the air conditioning in the room where we have air conditioning.

 

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I feel like I’ve got much to say. I’d take you on a garden and orchard walk. I’d even walk you down around the wetland. We’d have discussion on which is truly the champion Joe-pye weed (Eutrochium purpureum) on the farm. Is it that one at the edge of the wetland or the one in the plum orchard?

A mink hissed at us tonight, first time for that.

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I’ve been wanting to lay out the whole idea of where we’re at with this farming enterprise. And it doesn’t help that things are always changing. And that I’ve got levels of faith and fear and trust and love that fluctuate like the wind blows, or the rain rains, or the mercury. Which is to say, you never know. But there is some kind of assurance that’s developed. I don’t know if I can put it into words.

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In all we’ve been doing all right, I guess. I can’t complain. I’m in a better spot than when I started this thing about a year ago. Lot has happened since then. Heck, we got out of the bird business and now we’re back in it. Ya gotta love those first rooster crows on a farm where you haven’t heard them for almost a year. But here we are again and the elderberries are bending down in fruit.

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We’ve been trying to think of a farm name for over 5 years now. For a long time it was going to be “Grassy Path” and yeah, that’s all right, I guess. All flesh is grass, yadda yadda. And you walk down the grassy path to pick your apples and whatnot. And no, I don’t smoke weed. That farm name worked almost for the longest.

To name a farm is a pretty hard decision, right? But then it doesn’t really matter, does it? So anyway, I think we got one that we’re going to go with and we’re going to join the local, ‘food movement’ farmer group since we’ll have a name. And I think I’m going to start a legit farm blog. I’m getting pretty good at starting these blogs, you know? So that’ll be the beginning of really making a go of it.

Maybe we’ll sell some beef next year. Maybe we’ll sell some walnuts. I don’t know what else we would sell. We can hardly feed ourselves for goodness sake. But it’ll be good to have a website set up and maybe do some by-appointment sales to like minded folks. It’ll be good to get the word out, I think.

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For now, we’re still just raising kids on this farm. And lord knows, when the mortgage is paid off what we’re going to do. My current dream is to get a half-way decent truck with maybe one of those slide-on campers, and a good but small, fully-enclosed trailer and put a small but decent motorcycle in there and all the camping gear and pemmican and what-not you could imagine and just be ready to go anywhere, shoot some elk somewhere, take a look at Abbey country, maybe go bother those fine folks in Vermont and New Hampshire or make pilgrimage to Walden pond. Shit, maybe we’d drive to Alaska.

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Wish I had time to write more. On all my blogs, I wish I did. Oh, and there was a that story I promised about the ‘moment’ that I had with a praying mantis. Yes, I’ll get to that too. That is the trouble with intention. It tends to spoil things, like peeling petals. Anyway, I have faith. It’s gonna be all right. Some way or other, it’s gonna be all right. Keep the faith yourself. Chin up. March on in your dirty overhalls.

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