THE TRIO OF BRIO
So there I was, up at the house on Saturday afternoon, out in the garden digging a second potato trench (I’m experimenting with a new potato method) with a friend from the big city when suddenly out from the kitchen door into the garden burst a rainbow of shouts and laughter made up of 8-year-old twins and their 10-year old sister, the Trio of Brio, come from way up north - by way of a spell in their other grandparents’ house across the Lake - to stay with us for a while.
My friend and I and our shovels were soon caught up in a whirlwind of whatareyoudoings? and Iwannadoits! We took on the new crew and soon enough finished the trench for tomorrow’s planting, after which our small mob gathered some firewood for evening, then the trio took turns watering all the here-and-there shiitake, which are now doing their Spring task of swelling into deliciousness. After the tools were put away the trio got to work gathering mitsuba (Cryptotaenia japonica) Japan’s wild parsley, just now springing up. No one gathers mitsuba with the intensity of a trio of little girls, once they’ve learned what mitsuba is, and that our southern corner is full of it this time of year.
They have been out of school for a couple of weeks now, and no knowing when they’ll be going back, as the news from up north seems to get more and more truthful, so it’s time to learn more about homeschooling, which we'll do at least for a while, and which is even better than all day classrooms in my opinion, even moreso out here in the unwalled countryside where learning is fun even when it’s work. The Trio is more than eager to join the labor force when it involves raking, digging, planting, harvesting, firewooding, herb gathering, all kinds of real fun to fill a day, real information in a few sprinkled seeds, the secrets of acorns, fragrance of cherry wood, tiny green words coming up from the ground...