The Farmer and the Sea

The heat has found this Northern California corner. The fires and smoke have welcomed themselves to our doorstep too. I guess it wouldn’t be a true passage through summer without a week at high 90’s and a haze dyed, bright red sunset. In this weather I want to sprawl out under the coffee table, like a cat, and sleep it out. When I lived in Germany, I would experience cold nights walking home with my chest cinched tight in all efforts to keep in every single molecule of warmth, so much so that it would be hard to breathe. On those bitter nights it seemed impossible to imagine being too hot, having too much sun on the skin, to be dry and parched and craving a chill. Now, in the stagnant mirage of heat I reremind myself of rain, of socks and breathing into chilled hands. If there was a down pour right now I would arouse my cat self from under the table, with out even stretching a leg or arching back, and drench myself in unfeline fashion!

This poem has always resonated with me and with this heat I can feel the spray of the waves. I’ve always felt this poem was more The Farmer and the Seed – and as I’ve been cleaning spinach, bok choi, dil and watermelon seed lately it feels nice to revisit it’s lines.

The Farmer and the Sea

The sea always arriving,

hissing in pebbles, is breaking

its edge were the landsman

squats on his rock. The dark

of the earth is familiar to him,

close mystery of his source

and end, always flowering

in the light and always

fading. But the dark of the sea

is perfect and strange,

the absence of any place,

immensity on the loose.

Still, he sees it is another

keeper of the land, caretaker,

shaking the earth, breaking it,

clicking the pieces, but somewhere

holding deep fields yet to rise,

shedding its richness on them

silently as snow, keeper and maker

of places wholly dark. And in him

something dark applauds.

– Wendell Berry

A full rainbow arches over the farm.

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One thought on “The Farmer and the Sea

  1. What a great post Kate! Your writing about the heat is wonderful, you created some really beautiful images! I especially like the one of you sleeping out the heat like a cat under the coffee table. So great! The poem is grand as well:)

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