Saturday, April 02, 2005


On one of our recent Spring morning walks along the Lake (where we can see all the cherry blossoms swelling with the pink news a little more each day) we found a secret bed of peppermint that had escaped into the wild and was having a vegetative ball living the low life, all its pedigree nonetheless thriving untended amid the tall grasses and other certified weeds, ignored there by local herb hunters, who have little use for mint.

The surprise of seeing it spread out beneath a tree by a stream into the Lake (there's lots of expectedly new mogusa [moxa] there, for example, and excellent wild watercress), those familiar rippled-jade leaves peeking up from down amid the pale cowlicks of wild grass was a thrill to this wild-herb hunter’s heart.

We took a sampling for tea and when it was as delicious as it was, we went back to kneel for more. This time we took bagsful and some cuttings for planting in our garden, whence it can escape onto the mountain in no time. We'll go again in a few weeks, when those square red stems will be knee-high. Getting your mint as a gift from the wild of your own time is way better than exchanging your time for colored pieces of paper to trade for it. In its own way, mint knows this too: no matter how long it’s been tended in whatever garden, it makes its way into the kindred wild, where it’s naturally happy.

Now for the Mint Julep.

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