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The Buzz

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We didn’t need to stay up for the local network news to hear about the forecast of Santa Ana winds:  people had been complaining about sinusitis and migraines for days. Even so, the garden needed to be prepared for planting.

We had done some initial clearing, but it was time to get to work.

We had done some initial clearing, but it was time to get to work.

Bees in the Asian pear tree happily ignored me.
Bees in the Asian pear tree happily ignored me.

The guinea fowl, out and about.
The guinea fowl, out and about.

The apple trees, waiting for bees.
The apple trees, also targets for bees.

Bryon, setting up the tiller.

Bryon, setting up the tiller.

A dust bath.  What's not to like?

A dust bath. What’s not to like?

Okay, thoughts of spring are starting to occur ...
Okay, thoughts of spring are starting to occur …

A little sweat equity.

A little sweat equity.

The girls were let out for a little free time. One of the guinea fowl is eyeing the pile of cilantro Bryon threw over the garden fence.
The girls were let out for a little free time. One of the guinea fowl is eyeing the pile of cilantro Bryon threw over the garden fence.

One of the girls, getting some sun. We kept an eye on the two hawks circling overhead. Soon they headed back into the coop--and the safety of routine.

One of the girls, getting some sun. We kept an eye on the two hawks circling overhead. Soon they headed back into the coop–and the safety of routine.

The garden, now (almost) ready for planting.

The garden, now (almost) ready for planting.

Bryon, giving the chickens a few treats.

Bryon, giving the chickens a few treats.

Coming Back & Starting Over

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With all the activity—nest building, hatchlings, seedlings and weeds sprouting—the garden feels new, hopeful, a little heady. I’m sitting inside today, agreeing with George Bernard Shaw and scowling:  youth really is wasted on the young. What about that proverb that said, “Age and deceit will overcome youth and skill”? Maybe the Greeks were onto something …

Where’s the love for “age and deceit”? What is the point of learning—and benefiting—from one’s mistakes if there is no possibility to reboot? An entirely blank slate implies that nothing that came before mattered. How can anybody go forward if there is no reference point to go forward from? Milk of amnesia has its place, and sometimes it isn’t wrong to drink deeply. Sometimes memory is the remedy, even if the medicine is bitter.

Forgetting is easy; keeping an honest memory is hard. An honest memory isn’t neatly curated, since it includes not only those finest moments but also the ones best left in a dark place (probably because they have an annoying habit of flashing on the internal Jumbotron so they can be relived at the worst times).  Embrace it—experience is the raw material for your new start.

One bird has set her sights away from the fruit trees, inside the light over the garage door opener, and near bags of birdseed. It’s prime avian real estate:  secluded with on-site catering. What’s not to like? How does she know this spot, and why does she keep coming back? Bryon has cleaned out the half-completed results of her construction efforts at least twice already. She was probably raised here a couple of years ago. We had left the garage open all day and returned to a nest, complete with eggs.

Today I made sure the garage door was open. I heard chirping and, from the corner of my eye, saw a branch fly into the garage.

She remembered.