Wednesday, June 8, 2011

My sister is a resourceful woman. Self reliant, courageous, undaunted by the considerable obstacles life has placed in her way, she soldiers on, dealing with the road conditions as they arise. Many years ago, the road offered up a tiger snake, right there in front of her. She tackled the situation bluntly and without hesitation, bludgeoning the snake till it lay dead at her feet. She saw this as something of a rite of passage; her first close encounter with a serpent and she came out a winner. Proud of her victory, she put the body into the boot of her car, as evidence of the battle. At home she opened the boot and lifted the snake out onto the driveway, then went to gather her family to show off her triumph. As they hurried out side they were just in time to see the snake disappearing into the shrubbery, battered but not yet beaten.

This morning I woke early, with time to tuck down for a while, listening to the wind and rain battering on my window. Time to dream up new ideas, to plan methods and reasons, stories to justify the making. Exciting, daring ideas, that push boundaries, expanding possibilities.
Enough. Get up, out of bed and begin the day. Light the fire, cook the porridge, talk about the practicalities of farm, animals, water. The realities of every day are the fabric of life.

Later, there is time to think about the pleasure of the early morning idea. The dreaming time has gone. It is time now to test the reality. Where did I put that excitement I had earlier? Cannot be found. The daring has faded, the boundaries spring back into place when pushed. The idea has retreated while I wasn't looking. It could even be dead. I try to breath life into it, but it is just a husk, dried and lifeless.

I met a man the other day who grows fruit. So cleverly has he planned his orchard, that he has something to harvest every month of the year. Early plums, midseason and late. Apples, starting with Gravenstiens in January, ending with Fuji in June. Guavas in May, avocados when there is nothing else at all.
I have never thought of planting with such foresight. My plantings have been a response to juiciness, to crunch, delectibility; luscious mouthwatering memories of warm summer fruits, gathered in sunshine. To the idea of plenty. To a vision of abundance, gathered, preserved and stored like gems, to be brought out when the winter sun is brief and the wind is cold. Eaten by a fire, with a dressing of smug.