Saturday, September 20, 2008


This late September afternoon and evening I'm out running around with one arm plus, sectioning, sorting and stacking a mountain of firewood we got from some landscaper guys who were scaping the grounds of a house for sale down the mountain, we asked if they could bring the firewoody results to our house (they're glad to, rather than drive several loads of wood all the way to a landfill or incinerator), so they dumped logs and long branches of ironwood, oak, beech, locust and black pine in front of the deck on Thursday night, and twice more today.

It always surprises me how heavy ironwood is, just a 30 cm diameter yard-long chunk makes you take an extra breath and then lift again for real-- I'm being careful with the one arm plus, though one could get carried away at the sight of so much free heat to put in the bank, but I have my limits and I listen for them, the arm whispers to me in the edgy lingo of early pain, then I stop.

But I got a lot done today nevertheless, also started another of my patented Brady Cedar-tree firewood holders - have those tall, green sophisticated presences do something more than look beautiful, put those strong slim bodies to work, get some muscle on those grainy bones, thereby freeing up our metal firewood holder for winter use on the deck, which was part of the plan -

In the midst of all these hitherings amidst the rough bark and grain, through the grays and browns and fading greens and crisping leaves, with the right-on-time blossoms of higanbana rising straight up, standing around like squads of cardinals watching a priest do all the work, I couldn't help but notice the extreme oddness of a big beautiful delicate yellow summer flower coming up from the nowhere of tall unkempt grass that's always by the garden faucet, no place for such a flower, out of time too, for when I looked closer with an armful of ironwood I saw that it was a melon flower, a golden mist of a blossom grown from a seed dropped some time during the summer when I was washing the kitchen sink garbage strainer (after dumping the contents on the compost pile over by the cherry tree).

And so an opportune packet of life took advantage of the household situation to show the immediate world what a melon seed can do on its own amidst hard labor and punctilious bloomings, and what a beauty it was, all the more precious for being so out of place and time: a summer melon blossoming in Autumn, a flowery martyrdom up here on the mountain, quiet little facet of the mystery, offering its bright life on the fading day...

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