Mud-Scrubbing in a Princess Dress (Key of A Major)

Yesterday, it poured for hours, day 3 of an early autumn nor'easter. It was the kind of storm that chills you to the bone and lingers 'til your brain is raw.

Soul Fry had a mid-afternoon fiddle lesson on Cape Cod, 45 minutes away. We had spent the whole day indoors, rearranging closets, going through old clothes, pretending we were princesses and queens, reading books, rearranging the princess's chambers. It was hard to get out of the house. And the rain came pouring down, filling the gutters, driving rivers under the swingset, pooling in massive ponds at the bottom of the hollow. Until the very last moment we had to leave, I considered canceling, but with great restraint, finally forced us out the door to much tantrum hubbub (myself included).

The whole drive to Falmouth, I cursed the distance and rehearsed how I'd tell the fiddle teacher, my great friend Nikki Engstrom, that we just can't do it anymore. Too busy. Too far. Too young. Too broke.

But when we got there, seeing my music buddy lifted my spirits immediately. Soul Fry began her lesson at rest and statue position, effected the perfect bow hold, and then proceeded to exhibit her one-ee-and-ah stop-stops on the A and E strings. Then, she learned to sing and play a seven-note scale in the key of A. My heart soared.

Sure, we could find a Suzuki teacher nearby, but Nikki's our buddy, and she plays FIDDLE, not violin. A terrific teacher who'll teach Soul Fry to play Twinkle Twinkle, the Hundred Pipers, and the Kesh Jig. Who ELSE would we have teach our girl but Nikki? Okay, distance bedamned, we're in.

The joy was shortlived, for next up, it was off to Plato's Harvest to pick up our weekly farm share. Grumbling the whole way, again. Who wants to do all this driving, just to get a bag of veggies? Too far. Too broke. Too fussy. Too much. Next year, I said, I'm going to have to tell Farmer Dave we can't do this anymore.

Then, we got there. Dave was his usual bouyant self and the rain kept pouring down. While I filled my farm bag with greens and potatoes, Soul Fry refused her raincoat and ran along the fence with the turkeys, sheep, and goats, getting completely soaked but insisting it wasn't time to leave yet. Her sneakers were caked with mud, yet not a whine was heard.

Farmer Dave said Farmer's Wife Sasha was in Boston, listening to a slow food guru speak at Harvard University. We joked about self-satisfied organiques in Cambridge who'd go listen to someone speak about slow food, but none of whom had shown up at the Harvard Square Farmer's Market in the rain the day before. It had been a long day, Dave said. Too rainy. Too long. Too slow. Too many teens in rubber boots and microminis.

A few years ago, Dave and Sasha gave up their lucrative day jobs to start this farm, and while it's been very successful, you can be sure they're not eating bonbons all winter in the offseason. No, they're eating squash--three meals a day, every day. Because that's what they grew, dammit. And here he was, a successful farmer, standing in the rain, looking miraculously happy, joking lightheartedly about the people who were warm and dry at Harvard.

Good things don't come without bad things. Most definitely, in order to appreciate when life is just too too--too good, too thrilling, too cozy--we really need to experience the in-, ir- and un-. Inconvenient. Inelegant. Inefficient. Irrational. Irregular. Unprofitable.

The best part is that somewhere in that in-ir-un world, life can at times be just too much fun.


Unknown said…
Sue Lindsay - you're my hero!! Sorry I missed you yesterday. I was with the hypocrites in Cambridge, falling in love with the rhythmic Italian prose of Carlo Petrini.