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Thursday, June 18, 2015

What matters is what you do

I have a favorite mug, big enough for soup or rice, and drink tea and coffee from it. It's big enough for retirement. A friend made three, in Pennsylvania, and our cousin sent them to us. I picked the black one, Beloved picked the gray one, and Last Son got the blue one. He didn't get to pick one; seniors must have some privileges.

This mug is a bit front heavy for me, even though the clay was worked very thin; but it's nice in both hands and a terrific hand-warmer for winter mornings. It's not bad in June, either, and I stumble out in my robe, hair disheveled, eyelids swollen and cup wobbling, to have a look at the riot of plant life in the kitchen garden by the slanting light.

it's raspberry season and I'm falling behind already on those and also the peas. So I had a friend over and herded her through the beds. Thoughtfully, she brought two large shopping bags, and was a great help.

While she harvested, I brought bolted lettuces, chinese cabbages, and spinach, some of them three feet tall, to the chickens and ducks. Susannah, the goose, who eats grass primarily and whose diet is getting a bit coarse for her, spots me with the lettuce and shadows me as I walk along the fence, demanding that I give it all to her, but she gets one head which she must share with the ducks, and the other two heads are for the two batches of hens.

We have never had corn knee high by the fourth of July. This year is different; waist high in June. This is not necessarily a good thing. The earth is drying out when we should still be in our rainy season. I don't know if I'll be able to irrigate in August. I can visualize going to the river with carboys.

Meanwhile, I divert a cupful of the water for my own use, and drink it as coffee while admiring the scarlet runners.

An eagle flies past, harried by a raucus crow.

My friend and I found a deer mouse's head in the pasture. No body; just the head. Who dropped it there? Too small, maybe, for the eagle, it could have been lost by the neighborhood screech owl, or a passing Cooper's hawk or kestrel. It was nobody's business now but that of the insects. Already the ants had marked a trail to the bounty.

We stopped in the zendo.

"This is all built from scraps, mostly other folks' fence boards."

"I see; it's very nice."

"Everything here is not quite quite. The floor is uneven, the Buddha is vague looking, the bell doesn't have a very good tone. So it's all a bit like me."

She picked up the "bell inviter" and sang the bowl experimentally. "No; it's good enough. What matters is what you do."


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