Posts Tagged ‘home’

a prayer for reincarnation

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Garden Fence, Edges Wild Series, Athens, Ohio © Jim Korpi

“It’s like a movie,” we say in times when we have no reference in visual reality. Our eyes communicate something to our brains that does not register.
I have no reference for what I saw last summer on my front porch.
Three barn swallows swooped in and out for about a week before we noticed four downy grey heads bobbing from the interior of their nest.
Their nest sticks against the face of a board on the right side of our decrepit porch like mud stuck to the fender of an old rusty truck.
The barn swallow is one of the most amazing creatures on the planet. Their flight is both eratic and calculated, graceful and unpredictable. Watching them makes me pray for reincarnation. “Please, Jesus, put in a good word for me up there, and let me be a barn swallow in my next life.”
The visits continued for another week and a half. The swallow parents, three of them, fed the growing offspring and then dipped off into the hills, nosediving our cats on their way to and fro.
I walked past the sugar maple guarding our house on my way in for lunch and noticed something different. A flock of 30-50 barn swallows were buzzing around the porch like bees around a hive.
I ran into the house to the bathroom window – my hunter’s blind – and looked out onto the porch without being seen.
Each swallow in the large swarming convoy took its turn dropping beneath the eave of the porch and up to the nest where it would hover for two or three seconds chirping and looking at the progress of the progeny inside before gliding back to the group.
The next day the four swallows in the nest were gone. They were ready.

Thanks & Praise

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Corn Fields, Holmes County, Ohio © Jim Korpi

“And God be praised we had a good increase… Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.” – Edward Winslow, Mourt’s Relation

nice house and shit

Attending to Vacuum © Jim Korpi

“Sometimes I wonder if I would be better off in a small town with a nice house and shit. Then I see pictures of people on Facebook living that life and I think, ‘No thanks!’”
Anonymous, Life Cafe, Brooklyn, New York

Uprooted


We rented, but we cared.
It seems against our nature not to care. Caring for ones shelter is surely innate. But it wasn’t ours, and this became more and more obvious as the years passed.
We planted a peach tree the first year on Second Street. The next spring we raised chicks to chickens and turned our lawn into food.
“You need to cut down that tree when you leave,” my landlord said as I was moving out. “I don’t want to have to take care of it, and it’s too hard to mow around.”
Today I bought someone else’s eggs for $3.50 and ate a peach from the freezer.

Uprooting

Red Maple Roots © Jim Korpi

It’s old. Maybe 100 years. Hell, maybe 200. The rings are rotten in the middle, so it’s hard knowin’ not countin’.
But Sheila’s house is caving in from the root system hitting her basement wall, and ours is being pushed to its foundational limits.
Half and half. That’s how they split the bill after a local group of entrepreneurs made our decaying red maple into next winter’s firewood.
It was a conundrum. The giant tree sat exactly in the center of the imaginary line dividing Sheila’s property from ours, which we rent. She wasn’t willing to let the expanding roots deform her house any longer. It had to come down. My landlord wasn’t so concerned. He questioned whether it was worth the cost considering the shape of the house and thought it would be more financially cunning to allow the tree its natural right of taking out the house. This way insurance money could be collected and a more profitable unit built.
The tree is down. There’s more sun on the back porch, and Sheila seems less concerned.