Saturday, June 07, 2008


The first big tsuyu rainfall washes heaven down from upmountain in the form of all the debris of winter that has gathered at the forest’s edge, the torrential flow down and off the road having such force that it rolls a rock or two the size of footballs into our section of the culvert, where they get stuck and block up all the other runoff debris that follows - leaves, rotted wood, sand, soil, other wild vegetable matter - packing it in there so densely that at the bottom of our driveway the swelling buildup often lifts off the heavy gratings and starts moving THEM down the mountain. Gets pretty unsightly if left too long, which I prefer to do until it becomes a strong reminder, so it’s usually right about now that the task hits number one on my meter-long to-do list.

Thus in the cool of this afternoon I got out the culvert shovel and a couple of big buckets, removed the gratings and got to work. I should mention that, along with all the other stuff from upmountain, the rain washes down earthworms. A lot of earthworms. So when I lifted the first shovelful into the air it looked like Medusa’s hair, only of happy earthworms. Nowhere else have I seen such a density of fat and sassy earthworms in one cubic measure of anything. They appeared to believe they were in heaven. There were little newbies and great biggies in there, all just lolling around in the absolute richness; those on the edge would just fall from the shovel and lay there, no need to panic in heaven. This is what I call the pate de foie gras of compost.

I filled about 8 buckets to overflowing (there's more for later), carried them out back and scattered them over our 4-meter square growing compost pile of leaves, kitchen and garden waste, which is already rich with worms; the new arrivals just dove in and out of the broadness of their new wealth the way dolphins cruise on top of their ocean. It was the worm’s second heaven, out there in the shade of the cherry tree, an even bigger heaven than they’d enjoyed before.

Gave me a sense of how it must feel to be a benevolent god.

1 comment:

Alice said...

Or, you could take a can of them and go fishing? But you'd have to leave the mountain I suppose.