Dispatches from the Milpa 3/12/16
It’s a quiet, slightly cloudy morning. Little bits of fluff float gently above, ripples of flying moisture like wrinkles on the face of the sky. The rye over last year’s milpa is a hand high in places. The soil is dark and moist where the cover crop is thickest, though there’s been no rain for some time now. The soft green carpet, thick with dew, is almost liquid, almost too green to be real, shimmering with color and life. What a blessing, just to be here.
There are vole holes, or mole holes, mostly on the southern edge of last years milpa, and a long tunnel near the southeastern corner. I pick up a few rocks, but there are many more, especially close to the heart, on the southern side in a wide twenty foot radius.
The char we made last week sits like a pile of black gold, abundant wealth of digested grief and soil renewing crystalline beauty. The sun rises slowly in the east, the birds sing, the toads are mating. Everything is calm, gentle, simple.
It won’t last, this quiet, this simplicity. Already the maples are starting to turn red, to burst into leaf. Soon it will be busy out here, with lots of human meddling, and also singing, praying, laughing, sweating. Soon this field will be transformed, remade in our attempt to feed ourselves with corn and squash and beans, with wild greens and tomatillos, with sweet potatoes and basil and cabbage. But for a few weeks more, this field is a sweet carpet, a green jewel, a softly swaying ocean of rye and clover, a lung breathing vitality into the homes on the hillside above.