Dougie MacLean tells of an island in Scotland; small, barren, isolated to th
e lack-o-mercies of the winds.
<<< You’ll find me sitting at this table with my friend Finn and my friend John…we may take a glass together. The whisky makes it all so clear. I feel so near to the howling of the wind – feel so near to the crashing of the waves – feel so near to the flowers in the field – feel so near. >>>
Janie and I live in a green bubble, mostly sheltered from crashings and howlings, yet the song resonates.
I farm a lot these days.
That’s a joke that only Janie and I know.
I dead-head and seasonally prune roses. I think it helps.
I whack and wreak violence on the trumpet vine. I think it helps.
I water the petunias, begonias, bougainvillea, impatiens, and coleus. I know that helps.
I kneel and crawl and claw at pyramid-scheme grasses that try to drain the resource bank accounts of Janie’s day-lilies.
I croon encouragement to the robust efforts of the cleome, sedum, shiso, and bronze fennel gifted to me by Becky Johnson. I keenly feel that responsibility.
I harvest and return the errant game balls of various sizes that have evaded the best efforts of the six-year-old that lives behind us. Sometimes I launch a sphere towards the youngster’s goal. Calipari has not yet called.
Yes, I farm, but far from diligently.
What I do diligently is take plentiful breaks. The kitten (a sworn but un-diligent killer of critters that stumble into her maw) and I sit, still and attentive.
Cardinals scold. Frogs croak, bark, and squeak. Sirens wail. Cicadas ratchet. Hummers whir-r-r. Copters whirl.
We feel so near…
<<< The old man looks out to the island. He says this place is endless here. There’s no real distance here to mention… There’s no distance to the spirits of the living – no distance to spirits of the dead.
I feel so near to the howling of the wind – feel so near to the crashing of the waves – feel so near to the flowers in the field – feel so near. >>>
I feel so near.