Finding What’s Already There

I want to tell you about what’s there, if you look. 

Rose hips are small red hot air balloons, weighed down until you cut the stems. Then they fly into your hand, unless you drop them (and I dropped several). Those are for the birds.

Speaking of birds, I left the top of the terrace untouched. This is the same place that housed a bird’s nest in the spring. It was so expertly hidden you couldn’t see it from any angle. I tried with binoculars from the second story of our house, but the vines were too thick. But you could hear the little ones crying out: tweet tweet tweet.

I looked up a recipe, one that was voted best by a vicar, which called for apples. 

Well, I had apples and a pear. 

I want to tell you about finding pears in the tree. That first fall we were delighted; neither of us had looked closely at the gnarled tree in the back behind the garage. Then suddenly (or not so suddenly had we been looking) there were hundreds of beautiful yellow teardrops hanging from the branches. We raced to figure out what to do with them. We made pear butter and pear chutney and hard pear cider. We gave them away. We baked bread. We ate pear, walnut, and blue cheese salads. We ate them directly from the tree, our fingers and mouths puckering from the sweetness. We watched the bees, drunk on fermented fruit in the afternoon sun.

I cut all these up and put them with the rose hips and they simmered on the stove for six hours before they broke up. The aroma was delicate, drifting upwards through the rest of the house, reminding us to stop and smell the rose hips. 

I want to tell you what it’s like to keep your eyes peeled, ready for each and every opportunity that already exists. I want to tell you about loving things you already have, the things that grow right where you stand.

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