Thursday, May 22, 2014

In Praise of the Improbable; Wayfarer's Farm

Spellbound, I stop loading the car to look West. First light just slanting over the Eastern mountain peaks, and amazing red bulbosities catch the light and rise.

Hot air balloons!! It must be chilly down there by the river, and what an outrageous premise altogether: climbing into a small wicker basket with flames above shooting up into hollow fruit-like silk.

First attempts must have drawn howls of derision. And yet brilliant balloons soared above Paris, and in the mind of Jules Verne, Around the World in Eighty Days!

Watching the flight above the Gorge, I thought about journeys, of dog sleds racing to the poles, machetes (piranhas and mosquitoes!) hacking a path to ancient temples in the jungle.

I thought of soul-shaking journeys, some splendid, some doomed, but a stretch, an itch, a soaring of the imagination. As I toodled into town on errands...

"Are you rich and famous?" she asked.

I laughed, and set my shopping basket on the counter.

"No, not rich, but I'm pretty happy."

"But you're famous."

"Um, within a half yard radius!"

I'd come to the gourmet kitchen shop, to replace a French press carafe, which had danced off the top of the fridge.

"What about your second book?" she asked. "Have you done the reading yet?"

"Uh huh, on the Winter Solstice. A professional guy filmed it and put the five generations story on youtube. It's pretty good. Am working on the third book."

"No!! What's it about?"

"Well, I had an organic farm when I was young. And foolish. In the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, a green pretty land.

"Did it ten years. Some funny stories coming together in the manuscript about adventures with my Appalachian neighbors and with animals, wild ones and the more or less domestic.

"Right now I'm coming up against a don't-want-to-go-there-wall. It's about the power company helicopter."

"What helicopter?"

"Their spraying 2,4-D, along their so-called "right of way" and nearly killing me, is the reason I left the farm.

"But to my heart, it's the least of the stories, and I'm having trouble with it. That farm was beautiful, eventually, and carpe diem incarnate.

"For awhile, I so didn't want to "go there" about the 2,4-D that I thought about chucking the project altogether.

"But I'm having such fun with the other stories. Ready end of this summer, looks like. God willing and the creek don't rise."

She walked with me to the door, while I looked neither to the right or the left into the shop of temptations. She was one of the first people I met in town, warm and welcoming to me, when I crawled out of the tent. And she loves a good story:

"Come to Taos," she grinned, "and bloom!"

Books I & II:
Whale Rider of the Tide
Call to Adventure
Next up:
Farm Stories & Recipes


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