Three Sisters

The biscuits are buttered and still hot from the oven.  The rain came early today, and fell all day.  I am impatient to trudge up the hill to the garden.  I look at it from the kitchen window, as the skull of a buffalo shining white in the grey drizzle, stands watch over the rows of lettuce, celery, chard, tomatoes and peppers.  Yesterday the sunflowers were an inch high and the sharp first strands of corn sentinels on their hills.  In previous years I have planted my squash but its long vines dry long before the golden yellow blossoms turn to vegetables.  On Sunday before we left for a long drive in the sun, I was there at the hills filling in the four directions and the turned four of a compass rose as I put beans and squash all around the tips that were emerging from the dry soil.

The day was stunning, beautiful, sweet and exhausting.  The long walk left the dog hobbled as he stopped and gazed up at me several times in the last few hundred yards, the car is up ahead buddy, I promised.  The pirate moaning somewhere behind me, come on honey, it isn’t much further, you can do it.

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On Monday I cheerfully left for work, back barely tender, while the pirate curled under a blanket with pain killers and cold medicine.  The dog crashed out at his feet until I walked in the door again.  I rubbed his front shoulders and his old dog hips before we walked, or rather I walked and he limped to look at the sun dried earth, too early for the mickey mouse ears of new sprouts in my wide high hills.  Corn sprouts.  I text to my daughter, are yours up? She doesn’t think so, but fifteen minutes later she joyfully tells me:  YES!

The Native Americans called corn, pole beans and pumpkins the three sisters.  They planted a dead fish in their hills then the corn, then waited three days and planted their beans and squash.   I sniff the air as I watch the dog stumble down the hill, no smell of dead fish, just the rotting brains of the buffalo, but they are there, under my corn sprouts, a bullhead eight inches down, the corn three inches down.

I watch as cardinals, red winged black-birds, grackles and that unnamed bird with the reddish cap on his brown body and his two females eat at the feeder, and I look at the rain pouring down, I love the rain, because I know it will make this garden bloom.

wildcolumbine2

 

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