I just went outside to get away from the news. I know I could turn the morning radio off and soon I will but it seems that world news is everywhere, dominated by a man who is ugly in body and soul. Yeats had it right when he noted that “The ceremony of innocence is drowned.”
So I went out to get away from the news and found solace in green. In 6 weeks, every spare corner of this particular world has filled with green. The big-leaf maples with their broad canopies, their moss-draped branches, the licorice ferns making small forests on the trunks. The salal. Douglas firs dropping so many pollen cones that every surface is dense with them. There’s a tub of salad greens by the sliding doors and I just pinched off some arugula, a few pebbled leaves of lacinato kale. My breakfast was strawberries purchased at the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal on our return from a night in Vancouver to watch a production of “Peter Grimes” and the greens were a delicious footnote. And speaking of footnotes, I don’t grow strawberries any longer but I do let the wild ones grow on the paths in my vegetable garden. There’s a wonderful moment in The Alice B. Toklas Cook Book when Alice comments on how long it took to pick a small basket of wood strawberries for Gertrude Stein’s breakfast and that “young guests were told that if they cared to eat them they should do the picking themselves.” This would be a good time of year for grandchildren to visit because they could sprawl on the paths and feast on the tiny succulent berries but alas, they’re coming later in summer.
But we do grow greens, many different kinds. A solace. The world news is full of that awful man and the damage he leaves in his wake, his “gaze blank and pitiless as the sun”, but yesterday when we returned from Sechelt, late-ish because of appointments, I wondered what on earth I’d make for dinner. And then realized we could have pesto—a head of nearly-ripe garlic, a bowl of basil cut from its tub in a warm protected corner, a handful of parsley. DeCecco pappardelle, wide enough to hold the sauce. A glass (or two) of the most beautiful wine, Desert Hills Pinot Gris from a recent order. And a handful of strawberries for dessert. News turned firmly off.