August 21, 2013

You Are Here. ~ Liz Huntly

I was born in the throb of Toronto and by habit I’m a city girl, but there’s a wildness in me that longs for the countryside.

My parents bought a hobby farm in rural Ontario when all the kids had moved away from home, and while I still miss the old Victorian brick house we grew up in downtown, I love spending holidays at the farm, soaking up fresh air and a few layers of dirt in our rambling vegetable garden.

In the city, my sense of time is linear and mostly future oriented. What will I eat for dinner? How will I afford my rent? My health insurance? My next vacation?

The farm reminds me that time is fluid, cyclical.

Things die, transform, regrow by the nourishment of corpses, over and over again.

The farm reminds me that the experience of every moment we have lived and will live is available to us at any given time; we choose which of those experiences we manifest in the present.


All in a Days Work

Your grandmother always said
Only mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun
But you do it anyway

Slather on sunscreen and wade
Waist deep into the blackcurrant bushes

Until your bucket is full

The sky is so big and solid blue
Your own heartbeat echos
Against its cavernous walls

On your way back to the house your breath leaps
As you startle two mossy frogs
Out of a game of hide and seek,

The kindergarten chorus of crickets
Clap their wings and chant
You are here

You are here
You are here

You spread the blackcurrants onto baking sheets
And begin to sift out leaves and stems
The perfect black pearls slip through your fingers

Like a time bomb

Reminding you that this
Is the only moment you have

After the currants are washed and patted dry
You boil them with sugar and pectin
And pour the rich purple jam into clean glass jars< With lids that smack their lips shut As they cool Later, you will savour this sweetness Spread thickly on warm bread Or thick pillows of Pfannkuchen* Wherever you are The blackcurrants will bring you home.     *German pancakes


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Assistant Ed: Katharine Spano/Ed: Bryonie Wise

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