LET US CALL IT THAT
Wind blew out the power early Monday morning and save for a day and a half of unexplained good fortune midweek, we found ourselves candlelit into Saturday evening. It wasn't too bad. This old farmhouse stood crookedly upright as ever. Our family was fed. And despite poor choices made on the part of two wayward hens, all the animals survived to berate us humans another day. We could have used a shower, and we surely looked forward to a time when our toilets weren't flushed with leech harboring buckets of pond water, but don't we all know it gets worse than those minor inconveniences. It was clarifying even for our rhythms to go through such upheaval in the days after the storm. I imagine some could recognize a life too tangled in the grid without the tumult of extreme weather, but unfortunately it seems I am the sort to need a good shaking, a good week of uncomfortable living, to wake to the notion.
Last weekend we picked all that was in reach on the apple tree but when the storm hit I lost my saucing nerve under threat of canning on our old cookstove for the first time. Yesterday, with power restored and a kitchen smelling of apple juice on account of all the softening apples in the corner, I finally got around to coaxing the fruit into winter sauce. Though the gnarled tree off the barn aggressively prunes her pickers in a quiet but on-the-nose protest of having been pruned too minimally herself over the decades, she earns her keep with a tangy and vivd pink sauce. I love her for it only slightly less than I love the sweet child who helped me pick her clean, than I love the good man who dug the potatoes made into latkes and topped with that just made, mouth puckering sauce last night. What a prayer of thanks that meal was. The longer we carve out a life on this little hill, the more I feel the injustice done by words like slow and simple when extracting the ethos of this existence. This life is focused, intentioned, purposed. Let us call it that.