Wednesday, July 17, 2024

News and Ideas Worth Sharing

HomeLife In the BerkshiresBOB GRAY: Grace...

BOB GRAY: Grace and luck

I am not a man of great or constant religious belief, though I wish at times I were. But I do have faith in the proven dogma of the seasons, of sun and rain and warm and cold passing and coming around again and again over long, slow time.

Housatonic — Now that I’m a gentleman of leisure, through no fault of my own by the way, I find it pleasing to begin each day sitting near the French doors with a cup of coffee to watch the antics of the birds and squirrels at my birdfeeders.

But my story today isn’t about any of them.

By now, even in a “good, old-fashioned winter,” there should’ve been, by this time, enough bright and comparatively mild days to raise our spirits though there is neither solstice nor equinox in sight.

2journal

The book I’m writing in now is an old one, brown-edged and dog-eared. In it I have kept my lawn and garden plans and notes for many years. Even though it’s zero out now, I’ve begun this morning my hopeful entries for the coming spring and summer.

Each entry, year-by-year, seems to have its own character: some notes scribbled in brief in highly busy and successful times; others perhaps written late on a warm, rainy August night are more elegant, almost like small rhapsodies in detail.

I find wisdom, both borrowed and sometimes painfully accumulated, here. I realize I could have saved myself a lot of grief and waste if I’d only checked my notes more frequently.

Besides gardening remembrances, my journal is dappled with plans, each with circles and squares and measurements in my neat semi-pro-draftsman’s hand, for grape arbors, shed extensions, perennial beds, and this year’s project: a xeriscape for the front yard around the pine rows

This particular plan is the stepchild of a failure to figure carefully enough when I planted the young fir trees 10 or 15 years ago. It’s obvious now that I planted the evergreens too close together. Maybe I should’ve checked on someone else’s plan before I dug my holes to rebury tree roots.

I am not a man of great or constant religious belief, though I wish at times I were. But I do have faith in the proven dogma of the seasons, of sun and rain and warm and cold passing and coming around again and again over long, slow time. The one tenet I hold firm is the holy relationship between a man and the earth, the mother of all life stories tell us. I find I am the servant, much more than the master, of all I see.

I write my plans now not out of some mawkish yearning for warm weather, but so I might be ready to re-consecrate myself in the timeless rituals of breaking and penetrating the soil when the right time comes.

My old notebook, then, is my Bible, my missal, my prayer book, my spiritual record, there both to guide and to remind me of what I’ve learned, of where I’ve been, and where, with some grace and luck, I might be standing when the warmth comes round again.

spot_img

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.

Continue reading

BITS & BYTES: Edward Merritt at the Turley Gallery; Sarah Martinez and Ali Gibbons at David M. Hunt Library; Literary celebration at The Clark;...

Part social practice, part painting, Merritt’s works evoke a garden formed from detritus and climate anxiety.

CONNECTIONS: For my friends in Mount Washington, a Mount Washington tale

Now here was sauce for the historian: a letter written by a man about his own family. It would be rich in information with no unanswered questions, or would it?

BITS & BYTES: Nathalie Joachim at The Clark; ‘Rent’ at The Mac-Haydn; Tina Packer at Chesterwood; Jewish Federation presents Dr. Jon Greenberg; Rainbow Seniors...

Grammy-nominated performer and composer Nathalie Joachim is a Haitian-American artist whose creative practice centers an authentic commitment to storytelling and human connectivity while advocating for social change and cultural awareness.

The Edge Is Free To Read.

But Not To Produce.