|A canker in the heart of the heart of the country|
Now I walk on the edge of wasteland. It's an interesting job, the job of a farmer, of bringing life out of all that death. A front-row seat to nature, red in tooth and claw. Even a grouse, a stupid one, that kept fluttering beside me as I walked, only a mouthful of feathers in the trail yesterday.
It's becoming almost obscene to me this year--maybe it's the heat--the worms clustered on the undersides of leaves, ripe with decay, their overwhelming fecundity, the sheer quantity of them. As inexorable as sin. Every day more of them, more trees red with autumn in July. All the poplar will disappear, I don't doubt. The tiny cold stand I make against them is inadequate.
Even us--the germs that twist in our gut, the mites that burrow in our skin, the bugs that drink our blood. We're at their mercy, at the mercy of whatever grace allows us to keep on living. I try to coax a few small things to life. My pot of basil. Our frilled carrots, leafing ever more bravely to the sky.