It is evening. Dinner has been eaten, and the children are cleaning up, or so we hope, in the kitchen. The katydids fill the forest with their pulsing chatter. I’m listening to them, and to Eva Cassidy singing “Kathy’s Song.” I can’t decide which is more beautiful. I’ll take both.
Yesterday I picked peaches. I missed a bunch, now rotting on the earth, making for some really happy ants, and thought of James and his giant peach. I realized I shouldn’t really feel guilty about the lost peaches–I couldn’t get to them for several days before hand. Then I reached into the branches and picked until my bucket was full. I knew it was the day to can some peaches. I ended up making peach preserves, keeping the skins on, which made the preserves a rosy golden color. Very pretty.
We opened a pint jar this morning and spread it over pancakes. I used yogurt instead of milk in the pancake mix, which makes for a nice tangy pancake, and the peach preserves complimented them perfectly.
Later in the afternoon I went to the garden with my box of seeds. The clouds were clotting, the breeze brushing tangles out of the air. Far off to the north I heard thunder like the drum of the storm, pounding the air over and over. Sky preparations were underway.
I cleared out a small space–half of a vegetable bed–and spread a mesclun seed mix over the soil, then sprinkled more soil over that. Then I cleared out two rows in the bed below that for beets, pushing the straw mulch up against the calendula plants that have sprawled out from the center of the bed, thrusting my hands deep into the soil, breaking it up, my hands appreciating its rich texture of life.
I gathered what I had weeded and walked over to the chicken coop to give it to the chickens. The rain began to fall, a steady, easy rain, the edge of a storm, patches of blue still in the sky. I stood under the big poplar in my bare feet thinking, “somewhere there’s a rainbow” but I didn’t bother to look. The rain was falling on my seeds, and falling on my arms, on my earth-covered hands, and on the clover at my feet, on the peaches weighing down their branches, and on the blue roof of my home.
There is something perfect about this very imperfect life, there is something about the rain, falling perfectly upon my skin, and upon the land that I love; there is something that opens up the sky and lets beauty fall where it will, which is everywhere, if you are paying attention.