red as strawberries in summertime

r e d

Thank goodness for my magic phone, which, despite my *still!* missing camera battery charger, is keeping me from being completely pictureless. I’ve learned this about myself, though: I like the world a little better when I’m composing images in my squinty little viewfinder. I do. I don’t need to look through it all the time, but just having the option in my hand, sitting on the counter, hanging off my shoulder, shifts my perspective. Taking pictures makes benevolent Medusas out of all of us, turning fast moments, staged or not, into statues and changing truths. It’s powerful.

It’s finally warm here, in this damp corner of the country. It’s been wetter and colder than usual, so the sunshine feels all the sweeter. I stood on my east facing front steps this morning and righteously smiled skyward. Maybe I threw a belligerent finger in the direction of the whole bleached bone, sand and sky southwest when I moved away nearly fourteen years ago, but it’s still where I come from, what I know. And I’m still, despite all my precious smirks about non-conformity, human. How about a little extra Vitamin D after so many waterlogged months? Sounds a-okay to me.

Seriously, just look at that strawberry up there! You’d think I went out to our little strawberry bed to take a picture and pulled a plastic ringer out of my pocket, an unblemished stand-in, a specimen so perfect you’d barely believe such a thing really grew in my front yard. And yet! A little fake polaroid shake it shake it phone app action aside, I have a 4 by 8 raised bed teeming with so many red berries. Just like that one. True story. We don’t have enough to, say, pick for jam or a freezer stock for the next winter (which, one. i’m pretty ‘meh’ on strawberry jam, myself, anyway. and, two. we don’t have an auxiliary freezer, and our under fridge jobbie stays mostly full with the everyday stuff; we pack in a little extra, but not much). But for fresh eating? Snacks and sweet gardening break snacks? Yes.

So we’re eating strawberries, better late than never, and I’m one hundred percent smitten with Mumford and Sons. Music, you know! Feelings, as much much as any appetite, need to be fed. I practically hogtied my husband earlier tonight and made him listen to a whole string of their songs. I know, from experience, that this is not the way to share the love.  He never comes around, anyway, until he discovers something for himself, all shucks and gee willikers, say what? This is the song you’ve been singing every day for weeks? How about that? Yeah, how about that.

In my churchy youth, such exuberant proselytizing would have been called “planting a seed” but, these days, I just have to look out my front window to see the tall, errant daisies sprouting up surprisingly in the yarrow patch to know that it’s not about planting seeds at all. It’s just about letting stuff grow, as it may. Oh sure, we cultivate, to our ability, but we know slugs or a hard frost or any sort of thing might destroy what we’ve stuck under the earth. And we know that the best things might be the things we didn’t plan at all. The strawberries fairly bursting out of their bed this summer started out as four leggy plants last year.  They exceeded all expectations.

It’ll take a few weeks of listening to these guys before the husband comes around. I should burn him a copy, draw a big swoopy heart over the top, hand it over with a wink that compels him to listen if only because he thinks doing so will get him laid. Who says it won’t?

I’ve heard Mumford and Sons compared to the Avett Brothers. But this is how they differ to me: while I can turn on the Avetts and their sound strums along in the background like the pleasant swish of the washing machine, Mumford and Sons stops me, stuns me, knocks me over. I listen completely. I love the way their songs all hit a point of bursting free, of opening up wide and flying above everything. Maybe I’m just a sucker for fiery banjo fueled emotion, maybe they’re just excellent music makers.

Maybe you should listen a million times, too, and decide for yourself.

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Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “red as strawberries in summertime

  1. milkstained

    Even my children know that strawberry reference up there. We had to explain it to them in excruciating detail.

    That berry is beautiful! I planted just two strawberry plants this year and one got eaten early on and the second is leafy and beautiful but it is not flowering. So sad. My tomatoes, on the other hand, are totally making up for last year’s blight.

    I don’t really understand the “planting a seed” reference because there was no churchy youth in my past, but “letting things grow” is totally my speed…we’ve been letting our carefully executed and perfectly cultivated garden out there *just grow* and it’s insane. We’re going to have someone come dig up all the fancy flowers and we’re going to get stuff that can grow wild as it will. Much more relaxing.

  2. Oh, fresh, sunwarmed strawberries. They really do represent the best of summer. We have been buying the sweetest strawberries from a farmer’s market that are so good we’ve taken to calling them “candy strawberries.”

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