Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A Week Descending

Part I

It was a cow that I found upon the ground aft of the Domesticle a late afternoon west of Boone just two days after leaving the city of hilly, curing airs. Contented to be stared at, laughed at, and perhaps knowing that all took her place on the hillside lightly and with surprise but by no means awe or concern, the cow shut her eyes as flies swarmed about the ends and we moved through the gate and into the yard where a table of maple hewn and tied with lap joints as though cast and monolithic sat beneath the boughs of a live maple tooling the air for sunlight and, when the time comes, for rain. There were apparently rare varieties of beans to be harvested from the garden nearby and some neighbors had come with bushels to pick at the rowed bushes once the sun had dropped below a westerly ridge. From the garden gate came a cook with arms full of squashes, which he arranged on a porch beside a room for sitting and keeping books in neat rows as he pointed grinning at the rest of us asking about their “such beauty” and blinking, as a cigar of Sicilian craft cantilevered from the corner of his mouth smoking gently and thick. It was before long time to sit beneath the maple and the mother of the person who invited me out to Dobbins talked about the politics of land and examined the wine and said, “well I guess screw-tops are here to stay, aren’t they?” Cut upon a stone table like an altar out of Sharon came a house-made sourdough focaccia with what I was assured to be a fine olive oil that was just delicious I was told and thin, circular shavings of red onion set like eddies or the landlocked remnants of a river’s path upon the matted crust of bread. And there were rich beats with pistachio paste and the squashes crushed and stewed, and the rare beans as long as school rulers boiled gently and tossed with a real farm butter to attend the yard setting where all had gathered for a summer supper. Before leaving the mountain of Dobbins back east for a night there was pasta of sweet peas that did not become bitter after a superficial surge of sweetness, and fine, miniscule onions lost between the finely chopped leaves of mint and parsley the populated a light oil ether. There were peaches of the proper hour harvested from the same-named southland, topped with unsweetened cream battered into its savored character as a cold paste and raspberries that had just, perhaps hours before, come into being as a pickable solution.