Deep in the back row of the upper, upper balconies, which are all full today, you can do whatever you want because no one will see you. Can you hear the sonata?
You don’t think so? Where is the singing if there are no flowers?
Neighbors—good, bad or indifferent.
Do they mind their own business?
Do they foist their life philosophy?
Or…are you glad for them?
I was born and grew up in the urban and suburban Midwest USA—Detroit, Chicago, Cleveland—had to drive for miles to see farms, the places where we could buy fresh corn on the cob and watermelon from small makeshift roadside stands. These were grown on huge extensive plains. A consumer, I was a consumer.
I had no idea what farmers had to do over a 12 month or more cycle so that they would have ‘produce’ to sell to me from their roadside stand.
Decades later, I am still a consumer; but I live in a community that has been for generations small scale farmers. Each and every farm house has apple trees and walnut trees growing close by. Even the generations who have moved into the dense village have planted small fruit and nut trees. Why?
This first image reflects a spiritual understanding that nature is unpredictable and a reverence for a greater power is essential for farmers. So many things can go wrong with weather, climate and the geophysical that a season, a year may come anytime to take away the food necessary for farmer life. Imagine no grocery store with well stocked shelves, imagine no 7-11/24-7-365 convenience. Imagine if you had no access to food. Farmers make plans that their families never have to suffer such a hardship.
This means long hours everyday, year round. Just grab a short bit of relaxation from time to time. Hard life. I can see it all around me these days. Yet, I, as a consumer with a second-hand sympathy for farmers, sometimes feel envious of how much determination, commitment and practical knowledge they bring with them day-in, day-out to solve problems beset on them by nature and changing government regulations.
So this year, I have enjoyed observing the ripening process of fruits and nuts—apples and walnuts.
Apple and walnut torte or apple and walnut kuchen…your choice.:)
This is about Moroccan gardens and landscape.
Earlier today, I prepared to record the revised draft of one of my novels to perform a sentence by sentence prose edit. To my surprise, as I set up a folder for the audio, I found an old .aif file entitled Chocolate Gardens. On that 30 minute file I heard myself reading what appeared to be a post publication recall of events.
Well, since my stroke I am finding quite a few things I had completely forgotten. That’s kinda fun. Maybe sad, but still fun. We all have imperfect memories, but as a stroke victim, I seem to have now a greater worrisome sense about forgetfulness. Oh well, time continues. No harm done.
The Chocolate Gardens tells the story of a Tangier, Morocco garden, as recorded by Christopher two decades ago. In order to visit the garden he was required by the garden’s owners, a Brit and a Ruskie, to undergo a special ordeal of chocolate and absinthe before walking at sunset in the garden. Christopher first had to visit the land of the green fairies before he could enter their Oval Garden. This is that story.
Readers…by now you know that my blog, flahertylandscape, is all about plants and people–landscape journeys. Sounds fair and safe enough; but what I am about to share with you goes beyond strange.
Anyone who has worked in a garden–suffered blisters and callouses in a garden for fruit, vegetables, flowers, medicine–knows there is something more in those gardens. This is for you.
Gardens? Chocolate? Yes, definitely…but I never thought to combine them until the email I received quite recently from an almost forgotten friend. Donkeys’ years ago when I was in Tangier, we worked together on the Baie de Tanger–it was a tourist destination development project.
Now, my friend’s still in Tangier, but as an antique dealer, using as an income cover, a store of second hand furniture.
I have attached a link to a 30 min. SoundCloud file that tells the rest of the story. I hope you like it.
This is in part a freshly edited re-post of a 2015 post I made, entitled Chocolate, Gardens and Magic, which if I might say so, was well illustrated with Art Nouveau graphics.
Oscar Hammerstein II, said that in the 1950s when he wrote the lyrics for the musical, The Sound of Music.
The title song has these simple lyrics. “The hills are alive.” Think about it. The hills are alive…with what?
He wrote, “with the sound of music.”
No, not the music written by Richard Rodgers…but their own music. “The songs they have sung for thousands of years.”
Think about that because that is what anyone can feel when they visit these hills. These hills are alive with the sound of music. These hills will let you ride on the sound of their music. It is real.
And Hammerstein finished with:
“I go to the hills when my heart is lonely,
I know I will hear what I’ve heard before
My heart will be blessed with the sound of music
And I´ll sing once more.”
Happy New Year, all. 🙂