Okra and figs from August 2011. Figs now, but not yet okra.
The Telling That Changes Everything XXV.
August 12, 2012
There’s no winning without some pluck and
persistence; some grit and humor. Then,
when a wind comes along and lifts you, after
all that struggle, that picking yourself up again
every time you fall down, you have to trust it,
let it take you into a whole new place in your
life and in the lives of other people, a new room
where communion is frequent and possible,
where people love the characters you’ve
created and hunger for the wisdom you’ve
locked into words, made alive in stories
they will search out far into the future, long
after you are dead.
– The Telling That Changes Everything XIV.
A small plot of land is what I have,
a good mind, a hale and hearty person,
a feeling for other people–their needs
and strengths. Sometimes I can lift them
up when a wind bends them to the ground.
They can be demanding and cantankerous.
Then suddenly they open their petals
to the light. I might feel cross when
they lock me out, then melt when they
open a door. It goes with the territory.
Call it community. Somehow or other
I have a community of people around me
because I spun out threads and they
attached themselves to me. Did they
have a choice? Maybe not. Did I?
No. It’s the way I am. I look in, but
I also look out and see through. I see
souls. The seen ones hold onto me.
Can I get my seeing into books? Can
the way I am and the way I see travel
through my words? I think so. I know
so. It’s happening now, isn’t it? My
life feels ordinary to me. To see me,
my small house, crowded with boxes,
farm implements and supplies,
my computer and writing corner,
one wouldn’t think anything very
spectacular could be happening here.
Yet day after day I witness miracles.
The unexpected and surprising are my
companions. I’ve caught two possums
in an unbaited trap. Despite the hard
growing season–too much heat and
erratic rain, I store jars of fruit and
packages of frozen soups and stews
for the winter. Ultimately, it’s simple.
I live the way I want to, which means
hard work. I reap the harvest: enough
food, enough money, good health,
a new book in print, the creatures
who make my farming life delightful
and annoying; friends who allow me
alone time and then rejoice when I
invite them over. Community is a
miracle I wanted, and yes, worked for.
Yet it doesn’t happen that easily.
It can’t be forced, only coaxed.
It means I forgive myself and other
people often. It means I respect the
garden spider who set up housekeeping
among the raspberry canes, and she
respects me. It’s the basis, the
raison d’etre of the turning, whirling
planet, if we attune ourselves and see.