Catching Up

13 Jun

Heading out of town tomorrow. To the ocean. Lost Wednesday and Thursday due to unexpected ear drum malfunction. Still waiting to hear out of my left ear but at least the pain has abated. So here. Before I lost the sense of hearing–the wonder of smell. Fresh cut hay. I think I would have followed this truck wherever it was going if I hadn’t been on my way to pick up young man child.


I look at the picture now and wonder–how to convey the profound impact of that moment? Of opening a car window because it was hot–and there, where before there was nothing, was this overwhelming welcomed aroma. Moist. Rich. Filling. Smell. The most direct-to-the-brain sense organ. And the accompanying memories. Of putting up hay. One eye on the weather and one eye on the field. The heat. The total immersion into humid, hay saturated air. Totally consumed by….

And later, while pausing on my way to the garden to admire a brown toad, another admirer-of-toad — an Eastern Garterd Snake. Not this one. But one just like it. It was fast as blue blazes and I didn’t have my camera.

e_gartersnake Garden has a sense here of balance this year. Of critter comfort. Of birds finding worms and wasps finding insects. Of toads helping out and hopefully staying safe. Of garter snake patrolling. On duty. And the garden feels happy.

From this, a cloth–a snake cloth:

and this one–just starting–with Jude Hill’s weaving class in mind–DSC01335

and finally to remember next year. Mullein begins to bloom in June. And leaves from second year plants are best harvested in the spring.



And finally, a huge “thank you” to dear friend-of-many-talents. Sidekick from many years ago who, much to my delight, has relocated to Asheville for the summer. I was OUT OF IT. On ear drum pain meds–it was bad–and I was faced with completing my one responsibility for vacation which was to bring our first meal, prepared, to the ocean on Saturday. Like an angel of mercy she showed up and took over with utter competence and skill and this is what we’ll be enjoying on Saturday night. With greens from the garden. It was enough to make me weep. Another reason I love that woman.
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11 Responses to “Catching Up”

  1. user107055 June 13, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    ..oh ear pain simply sucks…it is so interesting to get an ear ache as an adult and then watch small children with ear aches…they truly are amazing …i love that they can be so primal with pain..oh that sounds awful..just years of pediatric nursing and preschoolers…i admire small people so very much

    love your memory of hay and your present day appreciation..last year the meadow here was hayed and there were 36 big rolls..i gee up with hay stacks and the rolls still seem strange to feel better, have a wonderful adventure..your words and pictures conjure up a always back to here to you and so many of the observant women who visit here…


    by Mary Oliver

    I see or hear
    that more or less

    kills me
    with delight,
    that leaves me
    like a needle

    in the haystack
    of light.
    It was what I was born for —
    to look, to listen,

    to lose myself
    inside this soft world —
    to instruct myself
    over and over

    in joy,
    and acclamation
    Nor am I talking
    about the exceptional,
    the fearful, the dreadful,
    the very extravagant —
    but of the ordinary,
    the common, the very drab,

    the daily presentations.
    Oh, good scholar,
    I say to myself,
    how can you help

    but grow wise
    with such teachings
    as these —
    the untrimmable light

    of the world,
    the ocean’s shine,
    the prayers that are made
    out of grass?

    have such a time


    • Patricia June 13, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

      thanks for this, Cynthia. it’s lovely and just so perfect…finding perfection in “…the ordinary, the common, the very drab….” that is the wonder of it all.


  2. Joan Coats June 13, 2014 at 10:17 am #

    I am curious as to what you will use the dried mullein leaves for? I live in Wisconsin and have many plants growing along the roadside . Thanks, Joan


  3. karmadondruplhamo June 13, 2014 at 5:46 pm #

    am going to take my time with this post while you’re gone but just quickly, do Call out my
    name to the Ocean for me….Call out that i send love to that Ocean. This gives me such
    pleasure to ask you and know that you will.
    BIG love and blessings on your ear drum….


    • Patricia June 13, 2014 at 5:49 pm #

      i will do .this. with a glad heart. and a lot of love. for you. for. ocean. for earth


  4. Mo Crow June 13, 2014 at 6:58 pm #

    oh a garter snake! I found one frozen in the on the sidewalk when I was walking to school in Tulsa when I was about 7 years old, it was beautiful… and the smell of fresh cut hay… and your new cloth… have a good visit to the ocean and hope your ear feels much better!


    • Patricia June 14, 2014 at 9:41 am #

      garter snakes and childhood seem to go hand. in hand, don’t they? and I wouldn’t have thought Tulsa got cold enough i n winter to freeze! …did you try to thaw it out?


      • Mo Crow June 15, 2014 at 3:35 am #

        No I wanted to but couldn’t work out how to get it out of the frozen puddle in the sidewalk!


  5. Nancy June 14, 2014 at 12:46 pm #

    I still remember the pain of an ear infection when I was a young child. It’s the worst! I have so much empathy for my little ones at work when the have ear infections. I could smell that hay…brought back memories of my years in No. Nevada, the Carson Valley. Lots of ranch land and that moist green scent. Reminded me of one of my mom’s favorite teaching books: Have a great time, the food looks de-lish 🙂


  6. karmadondruplhamo June 22, 2014 at 8:34 pm #

    it seems that now is a time when senses are acute….things we might not have noticed
    before, or have noticed but maybe been preoccupied otherwise?
    but i see this here and know it in my own experience now…
    the snake is such a blessing
    and From Your Garden….just so so Fine
    i love all of it, just love it and that love transfers to this Place here……
    the Cloth is witness.

    i just realized that i am commenting in the wrong box…so….just look UP and it’ll be ok…


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