Saturday, August 30, 2014

Weather we choose or not

Are you enjoying Labor Day Weekend, the last weekend of meteorological summer? I hope so. This weekend is the prelude to my favorite time of year. Soon, the trees will start to turn color and, all too briefly, will blaze brilliantly before their branches are bare. Apple season is almost upon us. Summer's uncomfortable humidity may evaporate (sorry, pun intended). I've recently sorted out that, in our world of Anthropogenic Climate Disruption [ACD], Minnesota can get visited by Polar Vortexes in Winter and have a Summer that seems like it has been cooler and more damp than average. If we were experiencing "Global Warming," the cooler Summer and colder Winter periods we've recently experienced here wouldn't make as much sense. That's partly why I prefer ACD. Another reason is that it includes the word Anthropogenic, an appropriate term for this age of human-induced changes to the earth. Finally, I think it's more fun to say "ACD" than GW.

This morning I had to take my trout landing net to do a "catch and release" on this guy (girl?) or his/her cousin after s/he had managed to get inside the screen porch. The mission was successful. Red-breasted nuthatches are starting to offer serious competition to chickadees as a "favorite at the feeder."

red-breasted nuthatch
Photo by J. Harrington
To have a hint of warmer weather during this Winter, our plans are to build and paint two bee hives for next Spring. This should be a fairly simple project for after the holidays. We'll also be looking at some other berry bushes for planting next Spring. I'm leaning toward highbush cranberries but was tempted the other day by something I saw about lingonberries. If we do both, we'll end up with "wild berry" honey, unless they bloom at separate times. Something else to sort out this Winter while I ponder Jane Hirshfield's advice about choices.

Rebus

By Jane Hirshfield 

You work with what you are given,
the red clay of grief,
the black clay of stubbornness going on after.   
Clay that tastes of care or carelessness,
clay that smells of the bottoms of rivers or dust.

Each thought is a life you have lived or failed to live,   
each word is a dish you have eaten or left on the table.   
There are honeys so bitter
no one would willingly choose to take them.
The clay takes them: honey of weariness, honey of vanity,   
honey of cruelty, fear.

This rebus—slip and stubbornness,
bottom of river, my own consumed life—
when will I learn to read it
plainly, slowly, uncolored by hope or desire?   
Not to understand it, only to see.

As water given sugar sweetens, given salt grows salty,   
we become our choices.
Each yes, each no continues,
this one a ladder, that one an anvil or cup.

The ladder leans into its darkness.   
The anvil leans into its silence.   
The cup sits empty.

How can I enter this question the clay has asked?


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