Friday, May 02, 2008

Another post I don't have time for.

Yesterday, I waddled into the strawberry patch and picked three buckets of strawberries for jamming and eating. I like to pick them myself because I know which berries are ripe enough for my jam. The key is to get them fully ripened and jam them soon. I hope to get to that Sunday afternoon sometime. I had a hard time picking berries this spring! 

From the patch, I could see several acres of farmland spread out underneath the blue sky. Two turkey buzzards patrolled a far pasture. A tractor lumbered across a mud road. The berries hung small and red underneath their green leaves. A honey bee with pollen-swollen back legs worked between amid the white blossoms. (I am thankful that the Alabama department of Agriculture functions better than the rest of the state agencies assuring that we still have honeybees here!) The green berries emerged like little fairy hats from underneath the spent blossoms. 

This is Alabama.  I love the fruit and the vegetables that grow here. I love the pickup trucks and farmers. I love the weirdness of this state, the smell of foundry in the city, the beach, the mountain. I want to take Alabama and make it part of me. I internalize it and save it for later in case it succumbs to the Atlanta influence and become another faceless city-state like all the others surrounded in highway cloverleaves built to facilitate ego trips. There's something to this that makes me realize that loving Alabama despite its faults is something akin to loving myself. I'm learning that you can't run from what you are. It follows. 


amy :) said...

what you said is resonating...thanks!


steviewren said...

That foundry smell...your words brought it to mind immediately! I grew up on the western side of town, close enough to the foundries in Fairfield and Ensley to find soot on the porch each morning in the summer. I went barefoot and always had black bottomed feet.

susan said...

steviewren, part of our ceiling collapsed last summer and we had that soot all over the floor for weeks. I can't imagine what it does to feet. (Well, yes I can, actually.)