There is a jungle in my back yard. The recent season of unusual rain has left a lush under and over growth that appears beyond control. The effort will be made of course. To control, that it. Based on history, it will dry out and get hot and the under and over growth will scale back and even the vegetable garden will seem to be workable. We might even have a crop of tomatoes, a little kale, chard, collard greens and leeks. I did manage, after two and a half days of no rain, to get the entire main yard mowed.

In the meantime, we just adjust. We make allowances for nature chiefly because there is no other choice short of madness.
 
Just prior to the turn of the century, Kurt Vonnegut, a personal literary hero of mine, offered up an essay in a series offering advise and learned pontification about how do deal with the next hundred years. In his piece he admonished us to watch out how we seek to handle nature. He allowed that the nature of nature was not that of a warm fuzzy teddy bear. Nature is not your friend.
 
That impressed me. I never expect the natural world to be one found in childhood books but rather in news casts about hurricanes and tornados. Even historical and unusually incessant rain: be advised that stuff is happening and we are here as it happens. Haul out your adaptive skills and patience, mostly with yourself.
 
There is, I am sure you know, this thing on TV called, “After People”. It’s an apocalyptic projection about what would happen after all humans are gone. Of course that is the big premise. Nature will outlast us. I tried to imagine this three acres without any human care for a few years.
 
I thought about this and immediately went down to the cellar and sharpened the mower blades and got to work. I am not ready to capitulate, all the while knowing that at some point nothing will be left here but a hole in the ground with a floribunda rose covering most of the place. Oh, and the goddamned red squirrels and spiders – I am certain they will be nesting in my oven and dining on the odd bits and other detritus of our existence. I keep them down as best as I can, but it is a loosing battle. I know. It’s a burden, and someone must bear up beneath it. Anyway, so far, my bullet bill is not as much as my gin bill. That’s a good sign, I think.
 
It’ll be burgers on the deck this evening and enjoying the beauty of the place – the birds and chipmunks and yes, the GD red squirrels be they ever so bold as to get within range. I still love nature, even though I know she simply tolerates me. But, hey, I’m used to that.
 
Be well, and stay tuned . . . .
 
Jerry Henderson

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