To Know the Dark
To go in the dark with a light is to know the light.
To know the dark, go dark. Go without sight,
and find that the dark, too, blooms and sings,
and is traveled by dark feet and dark wings.
“The Selected Poems of Wendell Berry,” Counterpoint, 1998: p. 68.
I find myself revisiting this very Novemberish poem. Going dark.
214 cloves in the ground. And just in time; it’s supposed to snow 6 inches the day-after-tomorrow!
I couldn’t have done it without the help of my beautiful girls. I believe they are coming to love the rhythm of growing garlic nearly as much as I do. These magical cloves will meditate underground all winter and greet us early in the spring. In nine months time, we will pull them out of the earth and give thanks for their gift of abundance once again.
I have a lot to learn from garlic this year: stillness, quiet, solitude, patience.
A box of natural treasures is on its way to Washington State!
A meditative morning
cleaning out a garden bed,
getting ready for garlic.
Pulling out the old growth
to make room.
Letting in the light,
just before the rain.
There is so much color here —
so much joy in the seeding and growing,
planting and transplanting.
Watching, waiting, watering.
But there is sorrow, too.
Sorrow in letting it all go,
pulling it out —
even as I know that I must let it go
to make space for what is to come.
In the greenhouse. Repotting plants and then lingering, soaking up the morning light.
I haven’t spent much time in here since spring.
The tiny black onion seeds we placed into trays filled with soil in March . . . have grown and flourished and now the glowing bulbs are drying in the warmth of the October sun, back here where their little green shoots of life began.
The sun nourished the onion plants all summer; their bulbs will nourish us all winter.
And then into the basement for some serious work with Papa’s tools!
This boy isn’t looking so “baby” any more. . .
The first autumn leaves come inside
in baskets and pockets.
Handfuls of chestnuts, shiny brown and gold.
The smell of beeswax fills the house
as rain falls outside
and a chubby toddler brings fists-full
of dirty carrots, fresh from the garden,
inside to wash off
up at the sink.
We now have the makings of five gallons of hot sauce fermenting on our kitchen counters. (Many thanks to a friend for generously providing us with an assortment of peppers!) Jars of spicy peppers are just one of the many brews bubbling in our house. If you are interested in reading more about our fermentation journey, I have an article all about it in this month’s Wild + Free bundle!
I love watching her teaching herself how to play the concertina. She has an amazing gift for making music.
Yes, he needs a haircut! We tried a couple of weeks ago, but he had a tiny toddler tantrum in the barber shop!
60 pounds of cabbage
6 gallons of sauerkraut
2 gallons of kimchi
5 tired people go to the beach.