Learning to tame Barnelia, listen to concertos, write sonnets, and blog simultaneously.



I have entered another dimension in time and space. Barnelia is silent, and so is the radio- one flick of the switch will alter the latter without damaging the former. Neil Young’s “flying mother nature’s silver sea to a new home in the sun” is being sung elegantly by the King’s Singers (in 4 part harmony). Matzo ball soup burbles contentedly on the front burner beside the frying pan of potatoes and cabbage (my OWN organic cabbage at that…life just keeps getting better and better!). The sun indeed did shine today- a rich blessing given that it has poured with torrential (OK I’m exaggerating) rains for 45 out of the last 47 days. To have the sun shine like it did today reminded me of a short story that I read in grade seven called “All summer in a day”. The story is unabashedly sci-fi: set on the planet of Venus (I think), the children in the story have known nothing but rain in their short lifetimes, as the sun only comes out for one day every 7 years. However, a little girl from the planet earth tells her class mates that she has seen the sun shine before. She is in turn mocked and tormented by her disbelieving (and somewhat resentful) peers- to the point that they decide to lock her in the closet. One can guess the outcome- the sun does come out to shine and in the rapture of the moment the entire class rushes outside to experience the joy- leaving the little girl locked up………

Now that is entirely too depressing n’est pas? Enough of that….Barnelia insists! Let’s talk about flowers and compost and mending fences. …..much more edifying. I planted 25 daffodil bulbs and pulled a whack of weeds…as is testified by the mountain of clippings and other organic detritus on the boulevard. God reveals much to us through the discipline of tilling the earth- how mysterious is that hidden world of earthworms, centipedes, and mycorrhizal associations. What is humbly hidden from our eyes becomes the glorious prelude to the beauty that is spring. New birth from the decay of winter- resurrection, renewal. Phos hilarion, glorious light!

3 thoughts on “Learning to tame Barnelia, listen to concertos, write sonnets, and blog simultaneously.

  1. Oh you write beautifully Josie.Thank you for reminding me of nature’s mirror of our own winter and spring, and summer. Today is another sunny, warm day…I saw a tree last night that had bloomed on one side, and is still dormant on the other side. Perfectly in half. Then I realized that the half that had bloomed has a heating vent under it from one of the massive buildings on campus. I wondered…this is what a tree suffering from manic depression looks like. Half is in spring, half is in winter…and it can’t figure out why, because each side is expressing what it feels right then. If only we could tell it, make it understand, that it’s simple really, nothing to worry about, look at the big picture…it’s just a vent causing this, it’s not you…you’re not that crazy after all. But that tree will probably never get to view itself from the perspective and understanding of a human, and will feel bi-polar for the rest of its life, at least in February…it might even attribute it’s problems to the imbalance in the nutrients in the soil. AHH. I get carried away with personification sometimes.Have a nice week, and I look forward to seeing you next week 🙂

  2. Barnelia is rather difficult to describe. She is small (less than 2cm in diameter),as red as a rose bud, and quite vocal at times, although for the most part she remains politely mute. Like any child, she can be embarassing in a heartbeat, and frequently demanding at the most inconvenient of times. However, I could not live without her- for Barnelia is a stoma.

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