The Farmer and the Sea

The heat has found this Northern California corner. The fires and smoke have welcomed themselves to our doorstep too. I guess it wouldn’t be a true passage through summer without a week at high 90’s and a haze dyed, bright red sunset. In this weather I want to sprawl out under the coffee table, like a cat, and sleep it out. When I lived in Germany, I would experience cold nights walking home with my chest cinched tight in all efforts to keep in every single molecule of warmth, so much so that it would be hard to breathe. On those bitter nights it seemed impossible to imagine being too hot, having too much sun on the skin, to be dry and parched and craving a chill. Now, in the stagnant mirage of heat I reremind myself of rain, of socks and breathing into chilled hands. If there was a down pour right now I would arouse my cat self from under the table, with out even stretching a leg or arching back, and drench myself in unfeline fashion!

This poem has always resonated with me and with this heat I can feel the spray of the waves. I’ve always felt this poem was more The Farmer and the Seed – and as I’ve been cleaning spinach, bok choi, dil and watermelon seed lately it feels nice to revisit it’s lines.

The Farmer and the Sea

The sea always arriving,

hissing in pebbles, is breaking

its edge were the landsman

squats on his rock. The dark

of the earth is familiar to him,

close mystery of his source

and end, always flowering

in the light and always

fading. But the dark of the sea

is perfect and strange,

the absence of any place,

immensity on the loose.

Still, he sees it is another

keeper of the land, caretaker,

shaking the earth, breaking it,

clicking the pieces, but somewhere

holding deep fields yet to rise,

shedding its richness on them

silently as snow, keeper and maker

of places wholly dark. And in him

something dark applauds.

– Wendell Berry

A full rainbow arches over the farm.

Because We Are.

A merry Meredith meal of radish top soup and kale salad — Thank you for sharing!

The CSA members this year are composed of such dear friends and vivacious families… one of them being the Merediths, Rick and Nancy. The Merediths shared this photo with me a while back and I’ve been meaning to incorporate it into a blog piece. The picture is so beautiful and as a sweet little touch, a heart shaped rock on its side being held up by the salt and pepper. Nancy is a collector of heart rocks and this one I found and gifted to her from the Himalayas. In my heart this makes it all come full circle, and in turn, becomes the fuel to continue and keep this beautiful circle in strong, prosperous and gleeming fluidity.

Another facet I’ve been wanting to share with readers: Literature. Summer time is not that of novel reading for busy farmers. Time is scarce and to keep track of a story plot, along with a growing garden plot has it’s difficulties. What summer time has meant for me in the last few years is short stories, essays and poems! It’s amazing what people write. How they take in through the senses and express out in the same words we often speak, but their arrangement and pattern in thought becomes authentically revealing and luminous. From the beginning, and in the theme of ‘full circle’, I’ve wanted to share a piece that is special to me. I came across this Rosalind Brackenbury poem in a book “You are there for I am,” by Satish Kumar.

       Because We Are.

I am because we are, the five-toed,

the elegant-fingered, the ones

whose brains flower like coral

whose dreams span earth and move out-

I am because we animals

love to rub and huddle, because

our tongues love to lick skin,

nuzzle and enter each other’s

mouths, clean milky young,

taste sweat from necks and slick

fur flat, lap water from clean pools:

because we love to swim, sleep, eat,

lie in the sun, move to the shade;

and because we are the fish

flying in ballets through shallows

and deeper, where the ocean floor

hollows and darkness begins;

I am because of centuries of thought

and centuries of dream, because of poetry,

grass, music, growing corn,

because of wine from grapes

and bread from flour,

because of a million hands

because of cave paintings

and the true line drawn,

the bison on the wall,

doe in the clearing, because

of shooting stars and sudden floods,

ships going out, footprints,

because of men and women

coming together, lying down

together, coming, again and again,

because of father, mother, brothers,

lovers, children, everyone making

enough love, because of skins, eyes, hands

and words, because of closeness,

because of breath: Because

of the touch in the night

the surgeon who saved me

because of intelligence

because of care

because enough people

loving enough people

for those centuries

forever, I am. We.

-Rosalind Brackenbury