retreat into nature

100_1560Well, really Gentle Reader.  The world is too much with us of late, and it can be hard to remember to just do what is in front of one to be done, as best as one can.  HOWEVER:  Here is a picture of my friend Sam.  Dog of the West.

Every time I come to my friend’s house, Sam races out to meet me and be thoroughly petted,  then runs ahead to get up the stairs and attempt a force kiss.  He has lovely teeth (for a dog) and an imposing nose up close.  He’s very gentlemanly, especially compared to one of my landlady’s horses, who literally trotted over to the fence of his corral the other day, shook his mane at  me rather summarily, stretched out and planted a huge kiss on my ear.  Yesterday I saw this horse do something really astonishing.  The unattended water hose was running full tilt into their water tub (what drought?  WHAT WEST NILE?).  Suddenly both of the dogs there ran up to me, soaking wet and looking for a place to put their muddy paws.  I looked toward the corral and what did I see but the horse holding the hose in his mouth, spraying it expertly around him.  Then he flipped it a bit and got the end in his mouth so he could drink from it.  All this with the most intense devil may care sparkle in his eyes.   Young Rabbit continues to play hide and seek with the Partner, and Tyrant the hummingbird has started doing trick flying through his arms when he’s holding buckets.

So that’s all good, it really is.  And another good thing of course is the garden.  Although it didn’t produce as extravagantly as last year, we did have more different things this iteration and the ones that did well are totally off the hook.  And, as happens with gardens, you get to figure out things to do with all that lovely stuff.  I made chilaquiles with red chard and scallop squash last night, in a tomato broth made from our violet jaspers and hot peppers.  For desert we had something I thought came out really well: fig granita.  Our fig tree seems to really like it here and each year produces more and better figs.  I still have jam from last year and we’ve eaten our way through many a gallette and salsa in the meantime.  Since it has been so hot this year however, it has been challenging to cook, and I’m actually still secretly glad I don’t have a zillion tomatoes to can.  Thus my original idea of an upside down cake for the figs this week was quashed because it was just too darn hot to bake.   I had to think of something else that didn’t involve too much heat.  And, voila.  I trimmed and halved the figs, put them in a pan with the zest and juice of a lemon, some local honey and a bit of water.  Cooked them until they just started to soften and release juice.  Immersion blendered them, and chilled.  Then, into the freezer for three hours, with interspersed fork raking over surface.  Scraped into a glass with a small splash of Port over the top, it’s beautiful, delicious, and good for you.  What more could you want?

Aside from the obvious, of course.  We’ve decided after many lengthy discussions  in front of the swamp cooler             that there are some simple infrastructure and policy things that could make the whole world a better place.  One- go back to industrial hemp production. Everywhere would be good, but the U.S. would be a start.  This would provide food, fuel, fabric and paper. And jobs.  It would replace cotton, ramp corn down, and help with fossil fuel use.  Hemp is a miracle of a plant and it is rather confounding to see it outlawed both industrially as well as medicinally.  A major foot-shooting, there. Combine this with an actual focus on solar energy and a removal of selected dams.  Pollution reduction and environmental restoration.  Just a few small things would make a huge difference and maybe start a return to balance.  It seems to me that a huge part of the world’s dysfunction is that people, men especially, don’t have anything to truly do.  Whole segments of populations and societies are almost completely alienated at this point.  Individuals don’t have jobs or a real way to provide for themselves or any family.  When no self reliance seems to be possible, a return to connection to production for the basic person would be a huge step forward.  All the seething young men you see waving guns around all over the place would probably, if given half a real chance, be quite happy to have a productive existence.  You have to wonder why these sorts of things don’t get done but then again, you know already.  It’s kind of like how mystifying it is that big Pharma doesn’t have any kind of near to adequate supply of medicines that people might really need- excepting of course Viagra and opiates.  Which at the most recent examination do not appear to be much good for anything in the long run except they both do appear to have side effects that…well, heck.  That can create things in your body that mean you get to buy more pills, and maybe hire lawyers.  For sure you’ll need an insurance agent.   But they don’t deal with the real life problems people face, like auto-immune disorders and viruses and many bacterial issues.  Or pain, really.  Oddly, you have to go back to something a bit more old fashioned at this point to deal with those things- but that is, as a friend used to say, a whole ‘nother Geraldo show.

Sometimes it feels as though where we’re going as a species is too scary to contemplate, so I for one am glad that figs still exist to provide that much needed reality check.  And people’s hearts, in which I still believe quite firmly.

 

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Wanda Brenni on September 18, 2014 at 3:13 pm

    Funny, insightful, uplifting, and balanced as always despite all that surrounds.

    Reply

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