Garden of the Summer Aspirations

Yesterday Li Bai, Tu Fu and Li Ho made their way out to the Garden of Summer Aspirations, accompanied by their domestic attendants, Golden Squash and Harvest Moon Squash (apparently the squash from these plants are yellow. Time will tell).

The procession was quiet, unattended by hangers on. To protect the well-being of each other and the beans, crowds that might have gathered stayed away.

Li Bai and Tu Fu, as lifelong friends, are pleased to spend this time in proximity to each other. Li Ho, always considered somewhat of a rebel, is enjoying solitude between the two attendants.

A Dream of Heaven

The hoary hare and frosty toad have washed the sky with tears.
Half open the cloudy pavilion, its wall slanting white,
And the jade wheel grinding dew wets its orb of light;
Wearing phoenix pendants they meet on a path sweet with cassia.
Those to whom the magic isles below are but yellow dust and clear water;
A thousand years flash by like galloping horses,
The nine continents far away seem nine wisps of smoke,
The vast ocean no more than water spilled from a cup.

Li Ho

Quotidian Update 89.314…

34 degrees when I got up this morning. That’s around 0 Celsius. Times like this, taken by surprise by autumn which fell (ha ha fall, get it? Get it?) suddenly Monday afternoon in blasts of north wind (“Feel that Bear? It’s coming! It won’t be long now!”) on which rode several large, black birds, not ravens — I don’t know what they were. Their heads were feathered so not turkey vultures. They rode the wind with some of the joy I felt at having my hair pulled back and my face realigned by incipient winter in which hirsute creatures are cut a break and I have to put on long pants. Grrrrrrrrrrr….

The next day, ALL the trees on the golf course, including the numerous holdouts, had surrendered to gold. “Awright aready,” they proclaimed. Like me, they had a weird summer. In their case it wasn’t surgery, it was virtually no precipitation from October 2017 until July 2018. “We’re not ready for this to end!”

Frankly, I’m not either and I am not a big fan of summer.

My garden has been more like a friend this year than a chore. My yard is a mess — the grass patchy and not helped by Bear’s digging. I didn’t plant anything in my flower beds. The birds planted sunflowers and the wild-flowers reseeded themselves. For veggies, I put in a row of Swiss chard, a Scarlet Emperor Bean and two tomatoes. The whole crazy garden turned out beautiful. I have six tomatoes (two gifts, two volunteers) and they’ve been giving me tomatoes like mad. My bean? Ah…

As some readers of this blog know, I planted some old Scarlet Emperor Bean seeds when I planted the tomato seeds indoors. When — to my surprise — they sprouted so beautifully, fast, and immense, I started repotting them and naming them for Chinese emperors and favorite Chinese writers. I gave them all away, except one that sprouted at the last minute before I went to the hospital and that I planted in the raised bed with the chard and the volunteer tomatoes I didn’t know about.

I didn’t eat any of the pots as they came along — but Bear did. I wanted the seeds so I have let them dry on the vine. I have a large handful of beautiful purple and black beans for next year. For some reason, I LOVE them. I guess they represent to me this whole summer of rehabilitation and the regaining of my powers.