Posted in Great Outdoors, Lore

Spring Herself

I see what we are doing with our fracking, and spillage, and burning, and emissions.  And it scares me.  When it really comes right down to it, the only thing we want for our children is health, security, and peace.

When I was a girl in middle school the teacher had us read Ray Bradbury’s Martian Chronicles, a 1950 short story science fiction collection.  I hated reading because I have always been a slow reader.  I digested the words, I built the stage in my mind, and copied down sentences or phrases that I thought were poetic.  Meanwhile the other kids would leave me in their dust, teasing about how far behind I was.  This book is the only time I remember enjoying reading in all of my school years.

The short story There Will Come Soft Rains includes a poem of the same name written by Sara Teasdale. I was really into poetry back then, and this one haunted me.  Every single spring since then, that poem has come to me when I see “wild plum trees in tremulous white.”  I am reminded how insignificant we are.  We are not killing our planet.  Our planet was here long before we were, and it will be here long after we are gone.  We are killing our children’s children.

It is painful to include myself in this homicide, yet the evidence is clear.  I sit here at my computer, cell phone perched adjacent, feet on soft synthetic carpeting, keys to my automobile hung neatly by the door — everywhere I look are things that must be manufactured, transported, and eventually thrown away.

I feel powerless against the big corporations who drill and spill and break the earth.  I go to work, I come home, I reuse, reduce, recycle, and I do the best I can to keep my corner of the world alive.  I wonder what I would do in their shoes; the CEOs of the big guys?  Could I justify the future of the children for the paycheck I spend today?  Would I eat the propaganda without gagging on the truth?

I don’t worry for the earth.  The planet sits waiting for the day when we will no longer be here to annoy it.  It will build its ecosystems again — maybe different ones, maybe not — but it will rebuild.  It will evolve.  It will suffer storms and quakes.  Then it will rebuild again.

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There Will Come Soft Rains

There will come soft rains and the smell of the ground,
And swallows circling with their shimmering sound;

And frogs in the pools singing at night,
And wild plum trees in tremulous white;

Robins will wear their feathery fire,
Whistling their whims on a low fence-wire;

And not one will know of the war, not one
Will care at last when it is done.

Not one would mind, neither bird nor tree,
If mankind perished utterly;

And Spring herself, when she woke at dawn
Would scarcely know that we were gone.

~Sara Teasdale

 

Posted in Fun, Room and Board

A Fruit That Needs Some Genetic Modification

My significant other, who will henceforth be referred to as Bubba, and I bought our first Pomegranate today.  They are a pretty fruit which produce edible little pearls.  We’ve had them on salads, and love the juice, but have never purchased one for home.  Checking out the produce section, Bubba asked, “Should we get a pomegranate?”

The pomegranate has symbolized many things throughout history including good luck, fertility, eternity, and good tidings.  These days, people are looking to pomegranates for treatment of everything from heart disease and high cholesterol to aging and erectile disfunction.  Neither of us were looking for any magic cures.  We just wanted to try something different.  And so the rosy sphere found its way into our cart.

Once home, our pomegranate waited patiently on the counter for lunch to arrive.  Groceries were stashed with the exception of a few left out for the meal.  Bubba concocted a couple sandwiches on toasted buns.  Sides of chips, pickles and a can of Coke for each of us were set out lovingly on t.v. trays.  Classy, I know.  That’s how we roll.

Meanwhile, I took on the pomegranate.  Prior to lunch there was no time for Googling.  Had there been, I surely would have run a search on how to open a pomegranate.  Left to my own devices, I hacked into the thing and started pulling it apart.

dscn0841Bubba turned to see how the process was coming and exclaimed, “Eeeeewww! What are those?”  At first glance, they did look a little alien, but after peeling a couple off, I was already over the eeeewww factor.  So I merely told him those were the membranes that separated the sections of seeds, as if that’s exactly what I expected to find in there.  The rind was more like a shell, and the seeds clung desperately inside.  Upon breaking the fruit, seeds exploded and skittered across the counter.

Since then, I have Googled pomegranate.  What did we do before Google?  Mostly, I tell my kids, we just sat around and wondered.  I learned that pomegranate, like the fig and grape, is one of the oldest known fruit.  The name pomegranate comes from the word pomme which means apple, and granate which refers to the seeds.  I also found the pomegranate blossom.  That is one messed up flower.  It looks like something one might find in the Little Shop of Horrors, and avoid at all costs.

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The pomegranate seeds were pretty when placed in bowl.  We couldn’t wait to try a few.  The ruby gems popped between the teeth.  Tart sweetness pleasantly surprised our tongues.  Then I bit down on the tiny pips.  They were too big to ignore and too small to spit out.  Thankfully the annoying little buggers weren’t as bitter as grape seeds.

As I was noshing the fruit along with my chips and sammy, I couldn’t help wondering if a little genetic modification couldn’t help the pomegranate.  After all, look how far the fig and grape have come.  Grapes now come in green, red, black, and both seeded and seedless.  And just look what we’ve done with the fig!

Fig Newtons

Pomegranates are beautiful in the store, the seeds look like jewels, and the juice is sweet and flavorful, not to mention healthy.  However, they could use a friendlier looking flower, an easy-open package, and those pips need to disappear.  I know this isn’t going to be a popular suggestion, but in my opinion, we have a little genetic modifying to do on the pomegranate.