Thursday, August 31, 2006

Montaigne, cobnut, dandelion clocks

I love Montaigne. He is not exacting in any sense. He is relaxed. He says: "When I meet with difficulties in my reading, I do not bite my nails over them: after making one or two attempts I give them up." Why waste time and energy on what is obscure? And he is modest: "Mistakes often escape our eyes but it is the sign of poor judgement if we are unable to see them when shown to us by another."

Under the cobut trees the path is strewn with broken cobnut shells. The squirrels have as usual been at work. Seldom do they miss a single nut. The trees are almost if not completely stripped bare. But as as the husks crunch under my feet, I spot one nut that has survived. I crack it open and eat its milky kernal and it seems like a feast. Meanwhile on a bough that has pushed through the roof vent of the greenhouse, hang two more nuts which the squirrels have been prevented from reaching. I'm saving them for another feast.

Two perfect dandelion clocks rise from between paving stones in a front garden. They are stately yet possess a sense of fun.

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