Gratitudes, Poems

On the Border


Where will you wander today?

What doorways, what thresholds,
what boundaries will you traverse?

Where will your heart find the opening
into the next open meadow?

Gratitude List:
1. Monarchs! We saw six yesterday in the milkweed patch, four butterflies and two large, healthy caterpillars we saw without even searching. Blessings on the monarchs.
2. Hard work. I haven’t been up the fields with the farm crew yet this season. I can’t quite believe that, but there it is. So yesterday, when we were short a few hands, I worked with a small crew in the bean and tomato fields. The camaraderie, the sweat dripping down the small of the back, the view over the hills. All good, good, good.
3. “August is the Sunday of the summer.” Isn’t that a wonderful phrase? Someone said it out in the fields yesterday. It captures the anxiety and excitement, the resolve and the dread of Sunday afternoons before you go back into the week, that sense that this is your moment to pile on the fun. Whee! Here we go–one more week of my summer-August. It’s like 6:00 on a Sunday evening: I have to get my papers in order for Monday, and do one more super-fun thing.
4. It’s been quite a while since I have eaten a tomato in the fields, but there was this gorgeous butter-yellow Goldie with one triangular turtle bite, and I didn’t want to just toss it without getting some of the benefit. Then there was a deep purple Carbon with a large bruised patch on one side. Then a Mr. Slabaugh with a deep crack. There is nothing so refreshing when you’re keel-over hot than a juicy tomato right off the vine, the juice running down your arms to your elbows.
5. Finding the memory that eludes, no matter how trivial: At snack break yesterday, someone started talking about a WXPN show that featured “Yacht Rock.” I am not a pop culture maven, nor have I ever been on a yacht, but I got it, especially when she said that Duran Duran and Kenny G would both fit, no matter their quality differences. I had in my head the perfect song to fit the genre, one I have really liked, but I couldn’t remember the singer’s name, the title, or even a phrase from the song. The moment I said out loud, “I know one!” it was gone-gone-gone. We played a guessing game for a while, with the others trying to draw it out, but my brain held onto it and wouldn’t let it go. Finally, as we were walking up the hill to the tomatoes, even though it felt completely ridiculous, I told Jon how I kept feeling like I almost had it, and then Cat Stevens would come into my head, but he was definitely not it. Jon immediately said, “Al stewart–‘Year of the Cat'”–and that was it. Except it was “On the Border,” not “Year of the Cat.” Weird how the mind works. (I think Oliver Sachs might have enjoyed studying my weird brain.)

May we walk in Beauty!

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