July 1, 2012

a sunday

the kitchen seems constantly to be full of cut strawberries, which smell like summer itself, distilled and ripening on my countertop. the juice is always all over the cutting boards, the knives, my hands. for every two berries in my kitchen there is one in the garden compost, gone to rot or mold; the berry patch is too cluttered with plants, and doesn't drain well, leaving the fruit, if it is unattended even for a moment, to quickly soften and grow fuzz. the raspberries, fortunately, do not suffer the same fate, and my daily dessert is a giant bowl of them, drizzled with milk or cream or, in rare cases, coconut milk, mashed with a spoon and then eaten greedily, often standing at the counter.

dinners usually consist of a giant bowl of assorted greens, sauteed in a cast iron pan, drizzled with soy sauce, lime, sriracha, accompanied by quinoa or rice. I am nearly eating off the land now, and not fast enough. this time of year it's me versus the garden: how fast I can eat versus how fast it can grow. I lose every time. thankfully, we have freezers, and canners, and friends.

I took a tumble off of Cookie yesterday. I'm not a superstitious person but anybody who has ever talked about this with me knows I routinely avoid saying "I've never fallen off my horse" for fear of tempting fate. I can't count the number of times I have nearly been unseated by her sudden fear of: the cows next door, the relocation of a set of jump standards, the repainting (white) of the jump rails, a discarded horse blanket in one corner of the arena, a pile of dirt. in the end I fell off on my own, over a poorly executed jump. if anything, Cookie tried very hard to save me from it. it was the best of all possible falls -- I landed lightly on one shoulder, which was scratched but otherwise unhurt -- and what I immediately felt, maybe surprisingly, was relief. I did the math later: 1299 days of horse ownership without a fall. I hadn't fallen off of any horse since 2007. I was proud of my girl, who truly did her best to rescue me from going over, and who stood patiently when I hit the dirt, her face saying, "how'd you get down there?"

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