The smoke is coming from two sources. One is the cinnamon incense on the coffee table right here in front of me.
I’m in the living room reading a history of Dwight Eisenhower’s White House years. Ike was my kinda guy, but I did not know it at the time — or care. Too young. Anyway, my parents were devout supporters of Adlai.
And the other smoke comes from the mountainsides and fields in the distance. The campesinos burn the countryside this time every year. That has to do with improving the dirt for crops or tradition — or both.
There are just a few months when the fields can be torched. Much of the year, it rains daily and even when it’s not raining, it can be nice and green, and greenery does not yield to fire willingly. It fights back.
Dead and brown, however, burn nicely, and here in March our world is dead, brown and burning. Big black soot flakes sail overhead like raven wings.
This is also the time of year I must whack back the yard. That’s the golden datura bush in the photo. I whacked it back last week, leaving the one flower like a Christmas decoration.
I’ve also whacked the second datura, the fan palm, the monster maguey and all three banana stands, which were still green till the recent freeze.
There’s more whacking to be done, but I’ve finished most of it, and a mountain of green “garbage” is rising next to the front gate. When I finish, I’ll pay my sullen neighbor Abel to tote it away in a pickup.
I don’t know where he takes it, and don’t want to know. But it’s plant material, all biodegradable.
Eisenhower just won the Republican nomination. He is not living in the White House yet. I wish he were living in the White House right now.
Those were better times.
Thanks for listening.