By: EarlB, 2:05 AM GMT on June 25, 2007
This past week my farm field was planted with soybeans, probably close
to a million seeds in the 28 acres planted (that "million" might be an
exaggeration, but unlike usual, this would be purely an exaggeration
out of ignorance). As if perfectly scripted, the seeds were treated to
a half-inch-rain a day after the last bean was tucked away into it's
furrow. Three days later, believe it or not, the seeds had sprouted!
It's a starting spot for a life cycle, the rain, the catalyst. Because
of the rain, seeds will sprout that will most likely grow to be feed for
animals (these soybeans are not the type eaten by people directly), which
will be feed for many humans, some of whom will plant more seeds next year,
and on and on.
The rain was catalyst for so much, other plants, other animals. Because
of this rain and earlier showers, I've been plagued by maneaters, we
have our share of these non-shark types (we have the sharks, too, but luckily
they do best in the marsh creeks, bays and ocean) in the form of gnats
(locally known as "no-see-ums"), deer flies (or sheep flies if you're a
northerner with farm experience) and "green head" flies, all blood-suckers,
all on the prowl for the warm bodies of mammals. My soybeans feed a
steer, the steer feeds me, I feed a fly or gnat. So, what is the point? The
best I get out of the deal is the pleasure of watching a barn swallow
feeding it's young off of the fly bounty. Rain on soybeans feeds the
newly fledged swallow. The flight of the swallow feeds my soul.
Life goes on.
By: EarlB, 1:32 AM GMT on June 13, 2007
I'm writing to tell you of the storm last night. I knew that it was coming
after hearing the news reports, and after watching the signs in the western
sky: watching those telltales of the flashes of the momentary daylight, and
hearing the cannonade's rumble and marveling at the hiss of wind in the leaves.
I write to tell you of the roar of the rain on the metal roof that protected
me. The rain, punctuated by the commas and exclamation marks of the close
and too close stabs of lightning, their reports were loud and a bit too crisp,
some having the sound of exploding air, some the sound of splitting wood. On
and on it went. I could feel it on top of me, beside me, inside me. And when
gone, the storm played on within me.
I write to tell you of the usually unflappable cat that lay closer to me last
night, not moving except to help me vary the spot ever so slightly that I
rubbed. I like to think that he took some comfort in my touch. It was unusual
that he stayed so long. He left when I turned off the light, presumably to seek
continued security of some sheltering doorframe.
I write to tell you about padding about in the dark house after the storm,
restless in my excitement. Now there were only hints that there had been a
storm, a few flashes of light in the east, the doppler shifted low grumble of
thunder, the puddles on the ground. I wandered, room to room, until the
the clock chimes rang out a two. I would replay the storm over and
over through the rest of night.
I write to tell you of a storm passed.
Updated: 10:01 AM GMT on June 13, 2007
By: EarlB, 7:25 PM GMT on June 03, 2007
I have been siren-summoned into the woods lately not by song but
by a sweet grape-aroma that I had never before smelled. The perfume
wasn't everywhere, but present enough to be confusing as to it's origin.
I thought that I was familiar with the sources of spring-time aromas as
we all are, freshly mown grass, honeysuckle (the widespread but non-native
Japanese honeysuckle), hyacinths, the old-fashioned roses with their spicy-
I looked all along the trail, looking for evidence of a sweet bay (magnolia),
even though the aromas didn't match. I looked in trees and on the ground, but
could find nothing, until, in a patch of sunlight, I saw the shapes of thousands
of tiny stars, so obvious on the background of last year's leaf litter. I looked
around for the sky that was home to these starlets, and found it in the branch
of a Holly tree, and moving closer for a look, I discovered my unknown
perfume. I would have never guessed, the spring sweetness of the Holly from
a million tiny flowers all around me!
Our sense of smell is probably the least understood of our senses. It may be
more important to us than we know, it may be second sight in terms of our
perception of the goings-on around us. It is certainly the main ingredient in
our enjoyment of food, it may be the most important (and hidden) ingredient in
interpersonal relationships (it's odd how we recognize this between "animals"
but not so well between "humans" (after all, we're not animals, are we!))
and it is a trigger for stored away memories that with "no" reason, come to mind.
When springtime comes next year, I'll test the memory theory, and see if I
spontaneously remember those thoughts I had this year looking for the unknown
perfume: who or what was on my mind, what were my hopes and dreams.
I walk through
The ashes of a
Leaving as their wake
I will wade through
The slippery tendrils of
Hoping to swim
Updated: 1:08 AM GMT on June 04, 2007