The warmth of spicy watercress pricked at my tongue as we plodded through mud and hay between rows and rows of culinary herbs, tomatoes, peppers, lettuces, micro-greens, edible flowers and citrus. The greenhouses fogged up my glasses.
My son jumped excitedly as he explained to my cousin from the city’s children and his sister about how the generators worked and how the plants were watered in their little beds made of rain gutter and piping. The greenhouse cat kneaded into my daughter’s shoulder as she proudly displayed her own gardening knowledge.
The four children ran and skipped as my cousin, the one who runs this place, nervously but assertively reminds them to be kind to her green sprouting things. Everything is lush and fragrant and tastes ten times stronger than anything I’ve bought in a store in California.
I had no idea arugula could taste like this.
Eventually my visiting cousin and her children left and we set to cleaning up the delicious brunch dishes (“you only need wonder about the bacon… it’s the only thing not from the farm… I can’t vouch for the pig,” my cousin had explained).
In another life I’d join her here. It’s peaceful and there is work to be done and it’s work you can feel good about.
My children beckon us both outside to explore and my cousin shows them that her property stretches much farther than even they had thought. They wade in the stream that runs along the length of the fields awaiting planting season. Even though it is nearly freezing they brave the cold and splash and stomp in muddy water.
She tells them stories about the history of these parts and about what the different plants are good for medicinally and about how they grow and about the birds and beasts that live wild. She has seen bald eagles, but only in pairs, she tells me.
And then we return, hose off, clean up and have a delicious St. Patrick’s day dinner made of steak and a mound of greens and edible flowers the children picked in the greenhouses for us. My cousin whips up a dressing of the farm’s own pesto mixed in yoghurt. And then the children beg for more rose/geranium ice cream.
As the sun sets it begins to snow. They scream and run and jump at the sight again and I wonder how long this wide-eyed amazement will last once we get to New England where the snow is so much more commonplace.
And I sneak away to take a call from a dear friend who is becoming part of the fabric of this journey for me, checking in and becoming a historian, holding space for my transformation from anxious police state escapee to a wild, free and relaxed woman with much wisdom and much desire to embrace what is ahead.