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Better Than the Smelling of a Rose

Calf deep in the mud, slinging shovels, pawing at the sodden earth with bare hands, crawling beneath the van’s chassis to shove lumber beneath the sunken wheels.  Bespattered with farm field, we grinned and joked.  Thus began a welcome hiatus from my morning keyboard labors yesterday about 6 a.m.    I had peered out my window and beheld a large white van with wheels buried to the hub tops in Protinick’s cornfield across the way. Its desperate driver stood shaking his head beside the road.  The first half of his K-turn had skidded him into this plight and man, he was stuck solid.  Another nice mess I’ve gotten me into.

It was well below freezing, so I put on shoes, then grabbed a couple of shovels, some rope, and planks from the barn, and headed out to lend a hand.  The van’s owner and I began digging.  Within moments we were joined by a lanky jogger who couldn’t resist a little break in his routine.   After several minutes of moiling about, a pickup truck passed, paused, and backed up close to us.  Together we hitched my inch-and-a-half hemp to each vehicle – dug some more and got in position for the big tow.  (Only in America – a Ukrainian, Oriental, Indian, and WASP all heaving on the same car.)  After all was set to readiness, the pickup surged forward, the rope snapped taut, while the rest of us pushed.  Then slowly the great white behemoth rose from the soil and eased back onto the roadway.   Had it been 6 p.m. rather than a.m., a drink would have been in order.  As it was, we all gave a brief cheer; the van owner thanked us all, and each of us, a little delayed, headed off to our day’s work.

I do not know the name of any of these gentlemen with whom I shared this chilly mud wallow.  They were just good folks who saw a fellow in need and made a little fun out of setting him free.   Ya just gotta love mud and homo sapiens – vital elements of Eden.

Wishing you every success,

– Bart Jackson


The Clothing of Diana

Gloriously full, round, gleaming and nude, our sister the Moon, fires that most passionate side of our souls.  When her whole self stands revealed, reflecting down upon us the rays of the hidden Sun, we go a little crazy and perhaps unleash our more accurate eccentricities.

Today at about 5:20 am, about the time my COO was having her second cup of coffee, and one of my most ardent authors, his first, I pulled two chairs out back and my wife and I beheld the full Harvest Moon.  Armed with camera and binoculars, we watched for the next hour as an eclipse of our Moon slowly evolved. A scud of whispy clouds added to the haunting.  Like a subtle tide, the earth’s umbra gently laved Diana in shadow.  Denser than a scrim, but lighter than a blanket, our planet edged its shadow increasingly across her brilliant form, and like, like the best gowns, served to make the remaining uncovered parts more brilliant.

Slowly the celestial hand move the orbs and the encroaching umbra squeezed the lunar brilliance into ever more slender arcs.  Unlike the normal phases of the moon, the shape of this diminishing arc was uniquely its own.  My wife and I held hands, lost in an hour of wonder.

As I tap out these words, the sun is also rising, imbuing the horizoned clouds with that Cabernet, roseate hue that marks our dawn.  Another day launches beneath His light.  Soon my neighbor Dave will follow the lead of his puppy Quincy and cross before my bay window.  The school bus will then come to pick his daughters and take them to their duties.  The human hive will again prevail our vision and thoughts.  Yet today will not be like all others.  For this day I have spent one too-brief hour with my best beloved, as the old hymn says, lost in wonder, love and praise.

Take your time,

            Bart Jackson