I love the fall garden. Everything is so ripe and heavy with its own fruitfulness.
It’s the garden’s last stand. The last flare up of growth before the whole backyard biomass lays down its heavy head and transforms into something new.
Rosie pointed out the other day that you can smell the honey in the beehives. It’s true!
Dan’s been gone hunting for one week, 9 days to be exact, expected home tonight. And besides Col locking all of us (including himself) out of the bathroom, our only bathroom to be exact, everything’s been fairly smooth. Fairly smooth, which includes eating granola bars for dinner (in the car), trolling for dinner invitations (thanks Sabrina!) and calling beer hour at 4:30.
When Dan left one week ago with his homemade bow and buckskin quiver full of arrows I was full of poetry and enthusiasm for him. Go follow your passion, your spiritual quest, your connection with the ancients! Now, a week later, I’m a little more like go shoot a goddamned animal and get your ass home. Yesterday, on the way to the farmers market with the kids, a large buck deer passed in front of our car and I thought, maybe Dan could just shoot one of these semi-tame town deer and call it good. Or as my friend Sue suggested, I could have run the buck over and told Dan: we’ve got our winter meat!
Truly, I admire Dan tremendously. To kill an elk with a homemade bow you have to get closer to a wild animal than most of us have ever been. And then the shot must be aligned perfectly, the archer’s aim impeccable (a killing shot from an arrow is necessarily precise). Dan’s archery success rate has not been high (but, there was this). And I deeply respect that for Dan, success rates are neither a motivating nor inhibiting factor. He’s out there because the whole process—crafting a bow, shooting that bow, following the elk throughout the year—is meaningful to him.
And it’s not that the outcome isn’t important. The 2 bushels of roasted green chiles I put in our freezer this weekend would taste mighty nice on an elk burger. Or on the side of an elk sausage and backyard egg scramble. Elk is our favorite meat, but the biggest prize is the courage to follow your passions no matter the fruits.