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Posts Tagged ‘plants’

I don’t know what to say. Well, my name is Clay Berges.

I wake up early every morning, before most people are even dreaming about their alarm clocks going off… I love that time of day when the sky is dusty light blue, when the grass is still wet, when birds are safe to sing without direct sunlight to hide from.  Right now is a great time to work outside, mornings are still chilly enough to induce fog breath, but the days are sweeter and warmer.  I work with plants, in an arboretum. They generally stay in one place and don’t make a lot of demands.  Although they do speak to me: their leaves and flowers and bark tell me about whether they like where they live, if they are hungry or thirsty, if it’s too crowded in bed for decent night’s sleep.  They pay me in an unusual way, with currants and rosehips, brilliant smiling rhododendron blooms, and the shelter of a sweeping pine in the rain. Oh the rain, everyone complains about it because they don’t want to get their hair wet or something.  That’s pretty stupid, I guarantee you most folks got their hair wet in the shower this morning.  They probably went through the trouble of drying it too, even as they looked out the window and saw the grey clouds.  But I guess that’s what you get when most everyone has a job inside, they expect everywhere to be dry and 72 degrees.  Huh.

I don’t work with other people, endlessly yapping about their kids who can kick a ball or how bad traffic was or how they like their particular caffeine fix…No, I prefer to work with sparrows and bull snakes, woodrats, red-tailed hawks,  spiders, bumble bees.  They’re fascinating co-workers, very industrious and helpful in maintaining the life of the park.  There’s a highway along one edge of the park, and I often think about how the cars going by at 60 miles an hour are missing an entire city’s worth of life.  But rarely do they even notice what they are missing…

When I am done with work, I return home to my little cabin in the foothills.  I have had a lot of offers to sell my land, probably to make way for some god-awful development.  Thanks but no thanks, you can keep that check in your breast-pocket. My grandfather owned this land and lived in this very cabin, and he appreciated it and I appreciate it more than some rich shmucks ever would notice all the beauty about it.  My roommate is beautiful, gentle, friendly; she’s incredibly reliable too.  Never missed a meal in seven years.  Her name is Makea, and she’s an Airedale terrier.  She greets me at the door and we usually go straight to romp and walk about in the meadow for a while before dinner; and when I inevitably fall asleep in my chair reading, she makes herself comfortable in a curled up ball on my bed.  Seems rather backwards, I guess, but who minds giving up their bed for a companion?

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