First fire, last rose

fireWE STAND ASTRIDE the cusp of two seasons. Fall and winter. And today they held hands.

The rose bushes out by the stone wall, in an heroic final effort, birthed a bloom. I’m sure it will be the last we’ll see till next Spring. I cut it, and it now sits in a rosebud vase on the dining room table, looking lovely.

After settling the rose into its spot, I returned to the yard, picked up a large rake and started to toil. Beneath the loquat tree was a sea of dead and dry leaves.  I made a mountain.

Nearby was another ocean of dead leaves. They had descended from a pear tree. They too were brown, but they were damp. I collected them into a separate pile not too distant from the loquats.

I was hesitant to burn them together due to the quantity. Once last year a blaze got away from me, causing quite a bit of dashing about and bellowing. I’m too old for that. But the grass was brown then. Now it’s still green. No matter. Two fires are preferred. Last year someone laughed at my predicament.

Dignity must be maintained.

I got a bit of ocote in hand, plus a lighter. Ocote is starter wood that burns readily. I had a piece the size of my thumb. I lit it and slowly sank it into the loquat leaves. It began to spread. I stood back.

roseThe pile in the photo above are the loquats.

When that hill had almost burned out, I raked the pear leaves atop the smoldering loquats. As mentioned, the pears were damp. Dry leaves burn nicely. Wet leaves do not burn at all. Damp leaves can burn, but they smoke. Man, do they ever smoke.

I would have been executed in California. I sent massive smoke plumes throughout the neighborhood.

But I was burning leaves, for Pete’s sake. It was neither nuclear waste nor even plastic bottles. It was a natural, if bountiful, smoke arising from some of the Goddess’ own children. I felt no guilt.

So the lawn looks better now, and there’s a rose in the dining room, the second loveliest thing in the Hacienda.

I am married to Number One, of course.