Rain last night, and this morning the tops of the cedars are blurred by clouds. It’s officially spring, if not by the Julian calendar than by the forest: the nettles are up. Out past the back fence, past the thickets of rose and ironwood and the fallen willow, past the cedars and the cairn that marks the grave of Loki the dog, there’s a stand of alder. In the summer it’s all nettles, so thick you have to whack and high-step your way through and still you’ll emerge with ankles tingling. But right now the nettles are just a few leaves tall and tender, pushing up from the moss in patches. We had one pair of gloves between us; I took the right and E the left. I was clumsy at it, despite using my dominant hand, and kept accidentally pulling up the little plants when I meant only to pinch off their top leaves. E, being a farmer and much practiced at harvest, was quick and tidy. And if his bag was twice mine when we walked back through the moss and alders, past the cairn under the cedars, by the fallen willow and the thickets of the rose and ironwood, and through the back gate, well, everything went into the same pot in the end.
Owner | Baker