Tuesday, February 28, 2012

There was a time when we could drag the porch couch out into the steaming afternoons, under the heavy fruit trees and thick branches hung with Spanish moss. The cushions were worn through and irritating under our thighs, the air scented with everything rotting on all sides until the afternoon rains came and swept it all clean. We lounged there eating fruit and drinking sweet things for hours, spitting poison but for the moment at least awake all over.

In Iceland it's not uncommon to stop construction in order to deal with the elves or a family curse, whole swathes of farms where it's impossible to cut the hay, roads rerouted and commerce paused so as not to irritate the invisibles. They say that ghosts follow families through nine generations, and the neighbors tend to worry about what will happen to a ghost if the family is in danger of dying out. This seems like a sensible sort of outlook, given the way everything tends to go. Better to make concessions to the improbable than to be surprised when the stories come to life and take over your bulldozers. Better to be sure of magic and then find it than to miss it altogether.

There's a plan to build a food forest here in town, to plant seven acres worth of trees and bushes and herbs for whoever may want them, common plants and exotic ones. Persimmons and almost certainly clovers to attract the Lotophagi, honeyberries for the smoothest ice creams, maybe guavas to save us all from cancer. I wonder a lot about what happened to the Lotophagi, whether the island of forgetting is still there or if it slowly slipped away, but a case can certainly be made for the possibility of finding it all wherever there are magic gardens, heavy soft fruits and sweet cool rains.

1 comment:

Kerri Anne said...

My Favorite Cousin Who Also Happens To Reside In Seattle sent me word of the surely-soon-to-be beloved food forest and it seems a lovely and sustainable sort of magic, indeed.