“Look at this –what do you call it? It’s huge!”
“Sorrel.” I surprised myself by knowing.
“I don’t eat it. It’s beautiful, but it grows too well. You can have it all. Let’s rip it out.” My neighbor heaved her pitch fork closer, ready to jab.
Admiring the fantastic bush of pointed, red-veined greens from the garden path, sadness flashed.
First off, it’s so beautiful.
Second off, I can’t eat that much sorrel right now – it’s not its own salad, just a topping! If we left it, it’d stay fresh for when I can get around to eating it bit by bit… but it’ll be weeks before my lettuces yield salad. And, like she said, the sorrel GROWS.
I lifted my own fork high,
having picked and balanced my way to our project, stepping from stone to stone.
After forkedly tilting the huge bushel from her side to mine, I straddled the hunk of rooted, long leaves, grabbed ’em good by the base, back and arms long, crotch close to the ground. My neighbor warned, but I boasted, half kiddingly: “I’m learning to relax everything else and test the surprising strength of thighs.”
After a throttling moment, my center of gravity shot up into the air, and only by holding my heavy harvest out far in front of me could some balance be regained. We laughed. Dirt scattered. It’s fun to be surprised.
Now it’s in a bucket just outside my door. I know I could go on Facebook and invite potential friends all over Fremont/Wallingford to pick them up… but it’s not about getting rid of it, nor meeting neighbors 100 doors down.
And sorrel is not about to abate hunger or malnutrition at the food bank, unfamiliar as it is.
I’d rather go for a walk around the block and dare whatever neighbors I meet to taste sorrel; see from there. Novel, quirky experiences make memories. Pure-flamed conversations can fortify existing bonds.
Finding any excuse to become familiar to those nearest remains, for me, a use-the-strongest-muscle-for-the-job, laughing, rooting affair.