I wake to birdsong: a five note trill that bounces up a
fifth before repeating. Sometimes, the
bird drops down the scale and and bounces once or twice on a low note. I rise, intending to learn the name of this
bird who so willingly sings outside my window.
The sun is becoming more generous. The wind is gentle and warm.
Our seeds arrive in the mailbox bringing a sudden joy to the
day. Squints tears open the bag, begins separating
“his” seeds from mine. “Mom, they sent
us eggplant.” His face is disgusted.
“Maybe it was a sample?”
“No. They forgot the sun
berries. I was looking forward to the sun
Eggplant isn’t a family favorite. Unfortunately, the CSA we belong to loves
it. Every week during the horrendously
long season, I bring home eggplant.
I make ratatouille.
I make fried eggplant.
I make an eggplant-tomato dip for crackers.
I press eggplant on my neighbors.
Sometimes, I let the eggplant wither in the bottom of the
vegetable drawer and pretend I don’t know it’s there.
I peel eggplant then parboil it, slicing it before tucking
it away in my freezer beneath the strawberries.
If I can’t find it, I don’t have to cook it, right?
Apparently, my family came to the same conclusion: One day, a day I’d scheduled to make eggplant
parmesan, the eggplant mysteriously disappeared.
I thought I was crazy: I was certain there’d been two eggplants in the refrigerator the night
before. But secretly, I was
relieved. Because no matter how hard you
try, you just can’t make eggplant taste good.
I whipped something else up for dinner. Something fast and easy. Probably hot dogs. I’m sure my family cheered.
And I found the eggplants a few days later, tucked into the
drawer of the china cabinet, beside the silver I never polish. It was my husband's idea.
I email the seed company.
They tell me there was a mistake.
The sun berries are going out in today’s mail.
All is good.
And as we turn away from the sun, the sky fills with cotton-candy
clouds and the spring peepers announce the
arrival of spring.
The moon is a mystery tonight. It’s bright and full, shrouded in a thin veil
of gauzy clouds.
And I realize, as I throw open the windows and pull back the
covers, that I haven’t yet learned the name of the bird that woke me this morning.
Labels: Creative non-fiction, Gardening, Nature, Sons