Longing, we say, because desire is full
of endless distances.”

14 May 2012

Letters from the Outside, #58

 A lovely night. Beneath a rainbow haloed waxing Moon in Libra I watch the most marvelous heat lightning in the south through the trees. And the crickets and the peepers and the watersong of the creek and 
All is Well.

 Were in for a stretch of fine weather so I planted out the pumpkins and moved the Tomato seedlings to bigger cribs, setting them down deep to grow a strong root system, after which I rewarded myself with a walk up the creek, and found a fallen Robins egg somehow unbroken between two branches lodged between rocks. Made it all the way to the house before it fell, revealing its perfect little yolk, a lifetime set aside.

 An afternoon in true sunlight benefits all the others also, the leggy Parsley begins to stand, miraculous, and Marigold emits her heady scent and the Calendula straighten, and rise. One brave pea seedling sprouts from the ground. The strawberries thrive from warmth and weeding.

  I hear the thunder now, as the rain moves toward us, the night rain that brings thick morning mist to Cloud Valley and driving to work along the highroad detour (the old road wont be open until about the time you come home) we see it from above, and it is a pure expanse of white that could be land, or lowered sky or water. It is also lovely and marvelous to see. The sun on all that concentrated vapor, slowly thinning into ragged banners through the branches of the trees that crest the ridgelines, now sprouting their little leaves.

The lightning is magick and electricity, and it infuses me with a happiness only the honest heart of nature can bring. I am grateful to witness these phenomena. So I trundle the flats in to shelter on the back porch for the evening, as they would certainly drown were they left to the elements. Even the dogs seem to stop and wonder at the sudden flash of light that plays beyond a bank of clouds. I remember sitting with the priest with our feet up on the railing, watching heat lightning move along the mountains, smoking cigarettes, and not saying anything, a lifetime ago.

  The Moon is this close to full, and I am wide awake in this miraculous, magickal world. All the cats want to be out mousing now, but im sure theyll caterwaul and call at some small, inconvenient hour to be let in, escaping the mad toms and the rain. I had forgotten how lightning travels around the rim of the bowl of the valley, from the south to the east toward the lakes in the north, the hot front chasing all the cold away. T. and I were baptized by raindrops the size of silver thimbles, but it was brief. And now to bed, to dream of Horses in high water, and labor pains, and Manatees.

 Cold grey changeable days follow, one ear cocked for rain to hurry haul the flats down from the picnic table back under the porch roof, and today, not even clearing fifty with brief, teasing flashes of sunlight between long, bereft stretches of damp grey, I set them out just outside the door, to harden them a little against all the variables this northern weather holds. The weekend may prove more pleasant and amenable to my gardening objectives. A few solid days of sunlight would dry out the ground enough for me to till once more before the corn goes in, and in a few weeks, the tomatoes.


  The peas come up in fits and starts, few and far apart (definitely should have found that rhizome powder) but everything else seems to have found its footing, the broad, prickly radish, the wee filaments of carrot, the slender, ruby-veined beet seedlings. Ill transplant some garden-wandering Rudbeckia into the open spaces in front of the house, and the persistent Comfrey from the center of the vegetable patch to along the outside, a dense hedge of broad leaves and pendant purple flowers.

  Over the weekend I sowed four rows of corn and set out the lettuce, planted another Dicentra, some strange pink Siberian Iris (the flowers of which I may not see for some years, who knows?) and some snapdragons for T. Unceremoniously pushed some more pea seeds into the ground between the apparent seedlings. Next year inoculant, without fail. Planted onion whips around the new rosebushes Cowboy got from his kids for his birthday. Leaving the perennial garden bed alone for the season, but thinking about the north facing patch, what small changes I can make to fill the awkward spaces.

  The Lemon Balm is invasive, and at the height of summer looks like a weed by the roadside to anyone who doesnt know better, so I may pull some out where I can and set down something, dare I say, prettier in its place. Hell, more Dicentra. Columbines would be nice, but they never seem to self-sow, like the Hollyhocks, around here, and it all gets smothered by the Balm anyway. But its been wonderful to see the world slowly fill in with flowers and leaves and grass, this nothing-short-of-miraculous awakening. Dead coyote by the side of the four-lane. Mountain lions spotted south of here. That april snow killed all the Lilac flowers. Blackberries begin.

 We love you.

"And if the question were asked: What is more real, the mundane or the sublime? most would hesitate before they gave an answer. On the one side, details: say, the aftermath of a breakfast, dirty chipped plates in the sink, their rims encrusted with egg yolk. Against this, the unnameable: small aching heart with boasts, what can you know? Outside the cage of everything we ever heard or saw, beyond, outside, above, there lies the real, hiding as long as we shall live, there stretch and trail the millions of names of God burning across the eons. When all through this our end will come before we even know the names of us.

For many the egg yolk prevails." -L.M.

"Love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is done well."

"The perfection of the Absolute where all Becoming stops and pure Being, immutable, timeless, unchanging, hangs forever like a ripe peach upon the bough." -E.A.

"...and the whole incident was incredibly frazzling and angst-rod and filled almost a whole mead notebook and is here recounted in only its barest psycho-skeletal outline." -D.F.W.

"At the top of the mountain, we are all snow leopards." -H.S.T.

"Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live." -D.T.
"Cometh a voice: My children, hear; From the crowded street and the close-packed mart I call you back with my message clear, back to my lap and my loving heart. Long have ye left me, journeying on by range and river and grassy plain, to the teeming towns where the rest have gone - come back, come back to my arms again. So shall ye lose the foolish needs that gnaw your souls; and my touch shall serve to heal the fretted nerve. Treading the turf that ye once loved well, instead of the stones of the city's street, ye shall hear nor din nor drunken yell, but the wind that croons in the ripening wheat. I that am old have seen long since ruin of palaces made with hands for the soldier-king and the priest and prince whose cities crumble in desert sands. But still the furrow in many a clime yields softly under the ploughman's feet; still there is seeding and harvest time, and the wind still croons in the ripening wheat. The works of man are but little worth; for a time they stand, for a space endure; but turn once more to your mother - Earth, my gifts are gracious, my works are sure. Instead of the strife and pain I give you peace, with its blessing sweet. Come back, come back to my arms again, for the wind still croons in the ripening wheat."
-John Sandes, The Earth-Mother (excerpt, 1918)