Notes on the Grippe

Being an accounting of the recent and continuing pandemic and its various circumstances, from the perspective of an inhabitant of the regions lately called the Lost Quarter. Dates unknown.

Day One Hundred Fifty Nine

We have been enjoying the spoils of my garden these last few days as the tomatoes begin to ripen on the vine. It is undoubtedly a bumper crop, perhaps the best I have managed. The kale and chard are growing like weeds, as they do every year without fail. The herbs as well – mint, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil and chives – all have flourished, more or less.

The same cannot be said of my peppers. It appears I shall have a harvest of one. Which is strange because it has been a warm year, perfect for peppers, as my profusion of tomatoes shows. The spinach was a disappointment as well, but I suspect that is because it was so cold at the beginning of the year so I was later planting than I would have liked. Once the heat of the summer hit, it quickly bolted.

There is something deeply satisfying about growing something, caring for it over the days and weeks of spring and summer, hoping the weather and the universe cooperate, so that you can realize its promise and eat of the fruits of your labour. Plucking a ripe tomato from a vine it is easy to understand why farmers might subject themselves to the seeming futility of their work. Despite the drought or the deluge, the hail and the wind, the frost in spring or autumn, and the rain or heat that never quite arrives when it is needed.

That is a song of complaint I have heard many times before. Yet, all that frustration is suddenly worth it when you look upon a field with full heads of grain turning golden under the sun. I understand that now as I didn’t always before. The satisfaction of a job well done earning a just reward as the universe so rarely allows.

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