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?