Sunday, October 3, 2010

October Days


After a cooler-than-usual summer, our small, late tomato crop has finally ripened and become the heart and soul of what, for me, is the perfect salad: cucumber, red onion, tomatoes, salt, a touch of pepper, a generous scattering of dried purple basil, olive oil, and vinegar. Made in the morning and chilled, this is ideal with the evening meal, and what’s left over is even better the next day.

On the first day of the month, I had a few errands to run, one of which required a trip downtown. Since I was near the library and had change for the meter, I stopped there long enough to visit the little Friends bookstore I’m so fond of. I came away with another five volumes. As luck would have it, the books are part of the same set I chanced upon during my last visit — poetry from the English beginning with Chaucer, a volume of Dante, and one of Robert Burns.

Upon returning home, I was greeted by an immense starling celebration underway high up in the neighbors’ fir trees. Not a single bird was visible. The air was cool, the sky was a soft, coastal gray, and there was only a slight breeze. No one else was out. I stood there immersed in the sound, my new stack of hundred-year-old books in hand, feeling like the luckiest person in the world.


Update:
In the Forum: suave urbanity, burnt elves, and dogs with diplomas.

13 comments:

martinealison said...

Le bonheur passe par des choses simples... le tout accompagné d'une bonne salade de tomates et du jardin!!! j'arrive ok ? Bises

William Michaelian said...

Martine, how lovely if you could join us — but you had better hurry, because the tomatoes won’t last long....

vazambam said...

Basil,

what
no

o
re
ga

no?

Nevine said...

And these are the lovely moments in life that count... and are always remembered.

Nevine

rahina q.h. said...

delightful simple moments in a day that make a day worhtwhile: makes me think that when we stop to think, isn't that really all we hanker after? good to hear you are going to read Rabbie Burns ...that's his real name here;)

William Michaelian said...

But Vassilis,
isn’t feta
bettah?

So true, Nevine, and we are nourished by them. Thank you.

Rahina, as a matter of fact, this volume of Rabbie joins three or four others on my shelves. I even, in my blissful ignorance, wrote a poem about one. It’s called “The Library Card in My Rabbie Burns.” It’s here should you care to chase it down.

jasmin said...

lieber William, der Garten Gottes, das ist doch das Ursprüngliche, alles schmeckt besser und ohne chemie, die Ernte ist manchmal schlecht, Garten, das gehört auch zum Leben dazu….
was kannst du dir Schöneres wünschen und der neuer Bücherschatz, glücklich du bist ,Dankbar was du bekommst von mir liebe Worte, in liebevollen Gedanken Jasmin, ich schreibe

Paul L. Martin said...

The clove of seasons, especially moving into fall, is our reminder that change is continual in life. Everything must change or die (even in death we are changing, actually). I love that image of you standing and listening to the music of the birds with books in your hands. And what a treasure of books they are! All trials and tribulations fall away and life exceeds our dreams. Nature: beauty and mortality and the power of being alive in this moment. You capture it all so well, here, William.

William Michaelian said...

Jasmin, your kindness and good thoughts are as bountiful as this earth and as freely given. Thank you.

Paul, I daresay those books in my hands were singing too. But if anyone has captured nature and the moment here, it’s you.

rahina q.h. said...

i loved your poem... it had that sensitivity that only true insight can hold like infinity in a mundane moment easily overlooked. i see you know more Scots than i do;)

William Michaelian said...

Oh, do I? That seems unlikely. But I’ve had great fun with the glossary in that book. Maybe even too much fun....

don't be emily said...

The other day, a perfect October day here between the white pines and the huge sugar maples, my husband (who does not "understand or like poetry") called Autumn "teasing" and "exhilarating" in a 30 second span of time. :) See, it gets to all of us. No time so perfect.

William Michaelian said...

That it does. And of your husband we can say, He’s a poet and don’t know it, but his feet show it — they’re Long-fellows!