Sunday, September 7, 2014

High Mowing Ritual

The grass is high, about waist deep, the goldenrod is higher, and the ragweed tops out at 12 -15 feet. Time to mow. This is a ritual that must be done right, there are herbal allies to consult, post mowing libations to procure and chill. So I talk to Joe about the bean and then I eat a muffin with Mary Jane. Fully immersed in the world of the herb, das Krautwelt, if you will, I face the south and thank Fire for not ravaging my land, and offer to stand in his stead as the Harvester. I will also be Woodsman as I clear the understory from the wooded parts of my land and as Hunter I will try to create spaces for certain fowl and small game to be taken more easily. Finally the mowing begins in earnest, a dizzying array of light, sound, heat, and humidity, one is never at the finish as one was at the beginning. Plant resins fill the air and are inhaled by the Harvester. Small vines with thorns tear at the flesh of the Woodsman, releasing their resins, some poisonous into his bloodstream. By now the Hunter has begun to fully assimilate with the Land. He sees the contours, places where small pools of water will gather after the rains, protected spots in the grass where one could easily disappear into the wood, watches as Hawk uses this to his advantage. With resins of plants coursing through his veins and affecting his brain, this man, this being who has transformed himself into a stand in for fire, takes on the role and responsibility as Land husband, the Bodenehemann. In this role he must protect the homestead, and the wild, create a buffer space for them both to adjust to one another. It is this in between role that I love so much, neither fully wild nor fully domesticated, but able transverse both realms, this is where I truly thrive. The end of the day leaves tired, bruised, torn, and triumphant and exhilarated. This is my condition as I enter the family home, Friedengut, and am greeted by the elixir of the gods. A cold frosty fermented brew of grains, seeds, herbs, and resins, that with some help from yeast render a concoction that is the essence of the mown land itself. I shower and retire to hearth for the evening.

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