Thursday, September 16, 2010

Free-Falling Fruit

Mountain Mama Mamie was in fine fettle today;
She called to say the muscadines are ready to be put away.
She had been feeling poorly the last time we came by;
She had sleep-over company, so we knew she wouldn't cry
While we were in the city with our widowed friend.
But her company and aches and pains had come to an end.
It was time to come pick grapes for jams, jellies and wine;
I told her we'd be over as soon as we found the time.

Greta had already informed me that her pears were ready for me;
She was tired of the crows getting all that fell from her tree.
I had told myself we were finished with canning for this year,
But I can't resist the gifts of new fruits as they appear.
Last year we had no pears for our cran-pear-ginger chutney,
And my godchild Gary has asked for pear butter from me.
A garden is God's way of keeping us from having too much pride;
The people who guaranteed success obviously lied.

We have to bow to God's whims regarding the bad weather,
And we must push ourselves to gather when things are better.
God lets many other creatures feast upon our soil;
There are times when we have no reward, no matter how hard we toil.
Of course the old-timers always have theories about what went wrong;
Something to do differently next year is their favorite song.
Sometimes I think hunter-gatherers were smarter than we are;
They simply enjoyed Nature's gifts from places near and far.

Traveling with the seasons, following the beasts,
Like manna from heaven, they acquired their feasts.
Now, here we are attempting to control the land,
Convincing ourselves that Nature needs a hand.
We sweat, and plow, and fertilize with chemicals,
Never paying much attention to Nature's rules.
I'm sure that we could live on what occurs naturally,
But we'd have to be content with what we're given for free.