Friday, January 16, 2009

Gifted

Okay, you can probably tell, if you read this site more than a time or two, that—despite occasional complaining (see last post for evidence of that)—I'm a pretty optimistic person. Simple things can make me very happy.

For example, this upcoming weekend, I will receive 9 cubic yards of composted manure. That may not sound terribly thrilling to many of you, but to me . . . well, it is heaven.

On the other hand, last weekend ECG and I received a very large something that the non-manure-inclined among you may also appreciate. It is a gift that has had the both of us dancing around the house. A friend gave us a piano.

Oh, it has a dead key and a few sticky ones, but it is a piano. It is making music on demand; it is part of the sound of a home—at least what ECG and I both think is the sound of a home, as we both grew up playing on the pianos in our respective living rooms. It is sitting down and concentrating on a page that doesn't glow. It is hitting the same well-worn chutes of melodies that have existed for hundreds of years; it is experimenting with notes and sounds in a way only the person touching the keys at that moment can. Because of its very presence, it is a muse, and this muse is ours.


On a related note, I have harvested my first head of broccoli at my new home this week. (Why a related note?—because they're both beautiful, because they're both comforting, because they both mean home.)


To prepare it, I've done nothing anything fancy, but instead, I enjoyed it's very broccoliness. Homegrown broccoli is a different vegetable altogether than even the best broccoli from farmers' markets, because it has never had a chance to develop any sulfurous off tastes, and its sugars are still sugars, not yet converted to starches. Very sweet, homegrown broccoli tastes like what it is: chlorophyll-rich flower buds. For my tastebuds, the best way to eat homegrown broccoli is after a light steam with a bit off good butter melting into the knotted up flowers and a few crystals of salt, sitting like snowflakes, on the emerald branches. This is the way that I learned to eat broccoli, the way my mother learned to eat broccoli, and the way her mother probably learned to eat broccoli too. With this head of broccoli, I refused to invent anything new. With a gift this perfect, why try?


What can top the goodness of homegrown broccoli? One thing. ECG, avoider-extraordinaire of all things green, tonight asked a question I never thought would ever emerge from his mouth: do you have any more of that broccoli?

Joy.

7 comments:

Sarah said...

My dear Christina,

Are you interested at all in chicken poop? I have a surplus and in exchange would love to pick your brain on LA gardening.

Email me.

Sarah

ann said...

I cannot wait to receive yards upon yards of composted manure! So jealous! I'm having to feed my gardening jonze by ordering ridiculous amounts of seeds from the internet. It's all very exciting, but I'd be happier if I had some dirt under my nails!

Pam said...

Lucky you. I've always wanted a piano!

Lucy said...

Hope the manure is full of goodness. Love the stuff.

But, goodness, the piano! Joy!

A page - a fascinating one - that does not glow must be the greatest of joys in the 21st century. My eyes tire so easily of whizzing and whirring...enjoy. I know you both will.

kale for sale said...

LOL. My cute guy has never asked for more of broccoli either. Thanks for the secret to inspire seconds.

Anne said...

ah, home-grown broccoli! i am green with jealousy (no pun intended)

Christina said...

Sarah: You've already received email!

Ann: Ordering ridiculous amounts of seed via internet is very, very fun--more fun than shoveling manure.

Pam: It is a joy to have. We're having a lot of fun with it.

Lucy: Yes, the piano is a great gift. We're so lucky to have a friend who wanted us to have it.

KFS: I don't know if butter and salt can be called a secret, but it works around here. I hope you find a trick that works for you.

Anne: It is wonderful stuff--I hope that you can get your hands on some soon!