“This is the most beautiful place on earth. Every man, every woman, carries in heart and mid the image of the ideal place, the right place, the one true home, known or unknown, actual or visionary.” There are many such places. For me, it shifts. Some summer days, it is a trail through the High Cascades, a place that took fifteen years to enter. Some rainy afternoons, it is my classroom after everyone leaves and I am alone with the tomato starts. In the ark, walking along the coast at Seapoint beach…this week, it was the kitchen.
I awake before sunrise, which happens around seven these days. Lucy has crawled under the blankets in the night, but wakes up at six AM, bored and hungry. When the alarm goes off, she bounds out of bed, running for her dish. Mark follows, fills the bowl, starts the teakettle, and heads for the shower. I stumble out several moments later to find Kayli perched on the table—a huge, sunny, furry sphere covering my napkin. Deposed, she stalks outside. I pour hot water into the cheery blue teapot, cover it with the cozy, find the newspaper, and toss Lucy outside as well. The golden walls of the kitchen glow. The lamp is reflected in the greenhouse window outside. Chickens wake up and discuss the morning. The front of the house is still dark—everything happens in the back early in the morning.
Slowly, outside, the sun comes up. A gang of kids from Yes House amble by, trailed by the counselors, still half asleep. Three students, clutching coffee cups, earbuds firmly tucked under their hoods, staring at the ground, head silently for campus. Early morning classes…The morning is grey and quiet. A car swishes by on the damp pavement. A bike rattles along the sidewalk The cats charge in through the catdoors.
My face is no longer reflected in the window glass as I start oatmeal with dried blueberries, hunt through the refrigerator for the two jars of soup I packed for lunch, walk down the cellar stairs to find the last two Christmas oranges, small suns themselves. I set them on the counter where Mark will find his, dress, stir oatmeal, make a piece of toast with lemon marmalade. The house smells warmly of wheat and oats, tea. Breakfast. Democracy Now! plays on the radio—more talk of Bernie, politics, interviews. Morning.
By seven forty, there is a small stream of people, all still sleepy, heading south towards campus. Parking spots on our street are full for the day. I gather my lunch, my bag, a raincoat and head for the door while Mark finishes washing the dishes. When I glance back, our little yellow house glows in the morning light. I head north and east, against the crowds, to the high school. The air is cool, damp, ocean scented. Mist on my face. The clouds high and puffy. To the East, there is a bit of a cloud break. The sky is pink behind the tall ponderosas that line the baseball field on my way to work. Snowdrops, pansies, small daffodils bloom in front of the old houses. Spring is coming.
“That is the way it was this morning.”
With thanks to Edward Abbey, and Desert Solitaire
¾ cup of white pastry flour
¾ cup oof fresh ground whole wheat flour
1 t of sugar
1 t BP
½ t BS
½ t salt
2T of oil
1 cup of buttermilk
handful of frozen blueberries
Mix dry together, add wet, stir until three quartered mixed, and toss in the frozen berries. Let sit for a few minutes before cooking.