1 February 2001
Orion and his dogs are in the west chasing a golden half moon, but, much as I'd like to, it's too cold and too late, and I'm too tired to walk up Mowry Street to listen to the wind in the pines...
But tired though I am, I will make an entry here, as I promised myself. What I've learned by being away from my online journal is this: I need and want to keep it. It's like the t'ai chi: it puts things in perspective and helps me remember what's really important. Dried green peas, for instance.
When I was a kid, come spring, we all used to buy pea shooters. They were plastic straws, really, but of a larger caliber than regular straws. They looked just like regular plastic straws, even down to the red stripes, but you had to buy them singly— a clever marketing ploy. It could run you into quite a bit of money if you happened to forget you meant business with the thing and chewed on the end of your shooter as if it were any old straw.
For ammunition you needed a box of Smith's Dried Peas— peas of the correct caliber. One too-large pea could put your weapon completely out of commission.
Armed, we met to do battle in and around the cold frames in back of the greenhouses in back of the flower shop. All of us, the cousins, would spend whole afternoons shooting peas at each other...
Eventually, we'd tire of the game and go on to something else. But by then there'd be peas all over the ground. And when the rains came, the peas would sprout; and, even though it was still cold March outside, they'd grow, all curly and green...
Peas, it turns out, are quite hardy, and they like cool weather. They grow fast, too. And I loved to watch them grow. I could almost see them growing. Beautiful.
Every spring, I'd gather up the sprouts and plant them in boxes up on my back porch. I suppose I could have made a real garden for them, but the back yard with the cold frames wasn't mine, and the back porch was more convenient for observation anyway. So I kept my boxes of pea plants on the back porch, and the vines grew up over the porch rails, the tendrils curling here there and everywhere gaining purchase where they could, green and curling and beautiful to look at, to watch grow...
When the pods were ripe, I'd harvest them and eat them. Delicious!
We had a warm spell the other day, and everything was melting, and it reminded me of spring...
And I bought a bag (alas! the boxes are no more!) of dried green peas. The back porch awaits. Soon it will be time.
Copyright © 2001 New Moon
Please feel free to comment at:
The Madwoman's Message Board