Summer To Smoke


On a calm, sunny October day, we light a pile of brush accumulated over the summer. Sweet smoke billows up like incense. If I close my eyes, it seems like I am at a temple in Kyoto, savoring the soothing fragrance of a thousand sticks of incense. If I listen, the crackling of the brush sounds like monks gossiping.




It’s time to plant fall vegetables. These are cabbage seeds. Seeds are wondrous packages of information and energy. All the wonderful things humans have created don’t compare to what nature has devised in the way of seeds. We owe our existence to these tiny bits. Maybe by the time the iPhone M arrives, centuries from now, it will self replicate. After a year of use, it will produce a seed which you plant, and six months later, you’ll have a handful of shiny new iPhones you don’t need to purchase, and the old iPhone you’ll compost with the fall leaves.


High above, ducks and geese are making their way south. The joy of working outdoors this time of year is hearing migrating fowl coming from afar. Sometimes they pass just out of sight. Other times they fly directly overhead. It won’t be long, maybe three weeks, four or so, before the first of the swans arrive to spend the winter among us.

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