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life at the grassroots

August 8, 2008

My second summer in central NY.

Music at the Grassroots Festival in Trumansburg a few weeks back, a magical night of a community diving into music, from the starry-eyed Swedes singing old-timey four-part harmonies out to a loving crowd dancing into a fever pitch, then over to the big stage to sway and rock to the weedy cackle of Lucinda Williams, telling her stories in songs and a style that have traveled with me for 20 years or more.

Stopping at unattended roadside stands to pick out fresh peaches and sweet corn.

Scratching mosquito bites.

Waking in the dead of night to the unearthly sound of the screech owl and crying coyotes.

Waiting for tomato plants as tall as me to render their first red fruit. Bumming that the cilantro always bolts.

Walking early mornings with Lucky Bud and in the process discovering Slaterville, meeting its children and old men. People recognize us now; they wave and smile. They stop and want to talk Beagle.

Watching a blaze of fireflies for nights on end in the field, never taking a photograph, then driving through a universe of them one warm July evening when there were so many streaking past it was like launching into slow-motion hyper-drive.

Helping spin honey once again at Boulder Brook, tasting the golden toil of the bees.

Saying goodbye to friends finishing school and leaving for bright new futures, teary-eyed and toasting to the bittersweetness of a new beginning.

Feeling surprised, walking outside one day, that the back yard still looks luminously strangely green but that, maybe for the first time, it wasn’t strange. In my time spent down low, hands in the soil pulling weeds, puzzling about what will grow or invade, inspecting odd new blossoms and bugs, scrubbing sap off my feet, ripping ugly weeds out of the ditch and planting some pretty ones, or lying looking up through the leaves, the place has seeped into me.

I’m only just getting to know it, but I’m getting to know it from the ground up.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. August 12, 2008 2:09 am

    I know I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else than the hills of upstate NY.

  2. bloomlikeflowers permalink
    August 15, 2008 4:37 pm

    I almost wrecked on my way home yesterday, eyes wandering over a horse farm (there are 4 babies!) as I drove by. Glad I didn’t because the sunset over the fields and ridge was gorgeous an hour later. It’s growing on me, but I could do with a bit more sun. :)

  3. August 16, 2008 4:57 pm

    What a beautiful post, My Sweet! You’ve just made me very homesick. xo

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