A-Bun-Dance: Creating sufficiency by getting up off our assets (and) moving our buns…(Swami Beyondananda, Dictionary of American Politics)
But one cannot eat paintings, and although flowers in certain cases (pansies in salad, zucchini flowers in tacos, cauliflower, broccoli and something I am sure no one outside of Mexico has ever heard of called “huazontles” which are eaten wrapped in batter, fried and dumped in a soupy tomato sauce) are edible, it would be hard to live on them alone. But flowers are just the preview, the coming attractions, the lush fore-play to what follows: the fruit or the veggie. Salies and the surrounding areas have turned into one enormous kitchen-garden, so to speak, and I am reaping the abundance.
The “assets” I get up off of or rather off on (as recommended by my good friend, Swami) are my friends who so generously provide me with everything from lettuces to jams; from baked cookies to olive oil, everything –mind you- picked fresh or elaborated in nearby kitchens from the “fat” of the land. Did someone say “come and pick your pleasure of raspberries and strawberries” because they were sick of eating them? Great! I have a big dish of raspberry-strawberry yoghurt for dessert. What? Your lettuces are going to seed. No problem. I have no doubt evolved from a rabbit in a previous life and salad is my daily staple, usually twice a day. Did I not come home one day to find a bag-full of lettuce hanging on my doorknob and a sweet note from my cleaning lady saying her son had cultivated them himself and wanted me to have them? What abundance… or what a bun dance I did with my bag of freshly picked lettuces, topped with two chocolate chip cookies that her son had baked. Wow! Even dessert and I did nothing but be alive to deserve this.
And the best is yet to come! I watch it coming. My walks now have a double purpose. One is to train for the Camino but the other is to watch my summer crops (summer began June 21st) come to fruition. I have already started harvesting one: plums, tiny, unfertilized ones that redden on a tree in between two fields, one of corn and the other a vineyard. The plums are for picking, as they ripen and fall off without awakening any interest of the person who might own the land. There is no fence to keep poachers such as myself off the property, and no one setting a big watch dog on me as I gather the sweet deep-red fruit in a clean dog-poop bag found in my pocket. Granted they are tiny, about the size of a nice cherry, and the meat on them is scarce seeing as a plum has a rather large pit, but they are sweet and if I eat about seven of them, it is the equivalent of one or two market-bought, fertilized and insecticide-sprayed cultivated plums.
plentiful clumps of tiny green grapes grow as fast as they can. Someday soon I’ll filch me-self a clump of grapes because I’m a non-repentant filcher when the pickin’ are easy.
But if grapes are miraculous, nothing equals the splendor of the corn. From what seemed like barren fields it sprang in brave green sprouts and in less than three weeks it is now reaching my nose. Soon it will flower and the young cobs will begin to mature.
I’ll be watching closely because it’s my favorite filch-able product. I have always picked my corn in August because that is when I used to come to Salies, but then it is almost over, and it is hard to find a tender ear; but this year… ohhh, am I going to have a feast. After all, the corn here is left to dry on the stalk and used for animal fodder and what better animal to fodder than me while it is still young and juicy!
And there is more! Right by the plum tree, the blackberry vines have begun to flower; soon the tiny fruits will appear and surely in no less than a month one will be able to begin picking the blackberries. Those are wild so they belong to us all, unlike the raspberries which always show up in someone’s garden, the blackberries invade the surrounding fields and forests and are there for all to enjoy.
Along with the blackberries, the figs mature in July and August and provide delicious deserts on a hot day, with vanilla ice-cream alongside. Fig trees, although not growing wild, are readily handy as they are usually planted near the street and generous branches extend their fruits over into the eager hands of passers-by. So, abundance is what this is all about, and no matter how you look at it, everything tastes better if you picked it yourself.