Water Tone

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A New Year has crested and with it the days start to tell a story. A story of the present and tales of themes to come. We are the ones that define the new calender, its tone based on our goals, resolutions and resolve.

In my mind I’ve constructed hats, fashioned caringly and in detail, of which I’m striving to wear in balance this year. However, during these times in crafting what WE want, we are often overlooking the patterns of reality. How do we consult our shiny new goals of balance with the deck that will be dealt to us? What notes will be played, to ring out with realism in the bell of clear January days?

Predictable small talk this winter has comprised of winter farm happenings, holiday gatherings and the weather. Conversations warm up and then dominantly plateau about the sky and how it’s not falling, and because it is not, it feels like it is. We talk about the lack of rain in a cathartic way. Our voices come out strong, in hopes to hide the quiver. Our tones dip into fear, but sustain faith,  as if we’re conversing about a dear friend who is acutely ill. I’m at the point of exhaustion towards these conversations – parched, by the talk about the state of California and our declared drought. It can be felt on the roof of my mouth and it fills my eyes as I look at a fourteen-thousand foot mountain with a dusting more appropriate to August.

The conversations continues in my head, with less postured strength in my inner voice. The shallow depths of the water table a reality for life on this farm. Is this the year to establish perennials, will they get a big enough drink to sink their roots in? I comb through seed catalogues for ‘drought resistant’ and xerophytes and I revisit my hats.  In lieu of my personal goals I create a new hat. This one made of glass.  This is the hat that matters. It is the one that will keep me dry when the sky falls with rain, when the creeks rise and the trees take in their fill. Most importantly, a hat that will magnify the melody of rain in my ears. Each drop ringing loudly and filling me with relief and a true sense of balance for the year to come.

Water

I was born in a drought year. That summer

my mother waited in the house, enclosed

in the sun and the dry ceaseless wind,

for the men to come back in the evenings,

bringing water from a distant spring.

Veins of leaves ran dry, roots shrank.

And all my life I have dreaded the return

of that year, sure that it sill is

somewhere, like a dead enemy’s soul. Fear

of dust in my mouth is always with me,

 and I am the faithful husband of the rain,

 I love the water of wells and springs,

 and the taste of roofs in the water of cisterns.

I am a dry man whose thirst is praise

of clouds, and whose mind is something of a cup.

My sweetness is to wake in the night

after days of dry heat, hearing the rain.

Wendell Berry

A slight snow storm in December, freezing fog and some mild rain has been the only winter moisture.

A slight snow storm in December, freezing fog and some mild rain has been the only winter moisture.IMG_1912 IMG_1915

 

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9 thoughts on “Water Tone

  1. You freakin’ amaze me Kate.

    On 03.02.2014 9:57 pm, Homeward Bounty wrote:

    > Kate O’Brien posted: ” A New Year has crested and with it the days start to tell a story. A story of the present and tales of themes to come. We are the ones that define the new calender, its tone based on our goals, resolutions and resolve. In my mind I’ve constructed h” > >

    • Val! It’s so good to hear from you. I greatly enjoyed the olive oil and spices. I’m so lucky that my parents share, it is SO special! E-mail me your address, I would love to send you some seeds. All my hugs dear Val, keep on smiling!

  2. Keep it up Katie! We cheer for you also on this side of the World.. which is unlukly too far away to be able to try some of the precious harvest you’ve been growing. Going back to the soil is something that is getting a footing also here in Italy: back to the origins!

  3. Dear Kate, Thirteen years in Tucson, Arizona taught me not to take water for granted. We set up cisterns and prayed. We used humanure composting rather than waste a drop of water on toilets. We read Brad Lancaster’s books on water harvesting. We are praying with you and for you. Thank you, in turn, for following my blog on health and freedom.

  4. Dear Lindi, Thank you dearly for opening up with your experiences and insight. This season will be a season of growth for us all, as we learn to adapt and evolve in our practices. I’m currently researching ways to make the farm more sustainable in regards to water. I will have to looking into Lancaster’s practices, thanks.

  5. loved the poem. loved the pictures. love you.

    Kathy Patrice Pitts 598-0535 facebook: EastWestYreka ________________________ A THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Live a balanced life. Learn some and think some, and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work every day some. -Robert Fulghum, author (b. 1937)

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