River, Pines

Photograph by Gamaliel Masters

My Friend Joy

by Harvey Green

My Good Friends,

... I never traveled alone, for Joy was my silent friend. We enjoyed the open road, the Sunlit fields, meadow after meadow, beckoning paths and unnamed trails leading off dirt roads. Discovered flowers I've never seen before, Blue lupines (in the Pea family) and wild Columbines fire red. Stopped one time in an open field next to planted oats, that were a golden tan bordered by blue cow vetch and watched a humming bird feed in mid air right before my very eyes. My heart was etched, as the hummer left the vetch, next to the golden grain and it was hard to see through eyes that were washed in my own Joy. Some other discovered delights: Blue Vervain, Sea Purslane, wild bergamot, Yarrow Purple or Spiced Loosestrife, Evening Primrose and the Oyster Plant (with the seeds ready to be born by the wind).

On another excursion I took off on a farmer's utility drive back into the heartland of his labor, and caught a Hawk Owl sleeping on his perch, in mid-day surrounded by heat waves on a lazy summer's afternoon. I was so quiet I got within 20 ft. of his dreams and when he did wake I was too real and too close. He spread his wings and a shadow was cast throughout the bird world. Wherever he went lesser birds made known his path and they harrassed and nagged him to no end. I think I understand how it was I caught him dreaming of a place called rest. It can be hard, living up to one's bad reputation.

On some other day while being kissed by a meandering breeze I found myself along a secluded and grassey bank of Paint Creek. Mind you my friend Joy is never very far away; along with the sound and the dance of sunlight on the passing water; I pulled a sandwich out and drew some water and we all broke bread together.

I have so enjoyed these many trips this summer. They bind me to all that is beautiful around me. It's always great to come back home, a place where Nita and I have created a family-in-time where love is a reality.

...I don't know how people make it who don't pull together their assets and resources. It sure takes every thing you've got. I thank God for the gift of her spirit. She's a wonder to me, one I care for very dearly.

...We will be putting the finishing touch on our hives this winter in my shed over hot chocolate. It has cost me $70.00 for materials to complete the hives I was given, this summer. This year was not a good year for my bees. One hive got a weak start, and this Spring I'll be getting another Queen for that hive. The other hive, newly repaired because of the mice, did nothing either -- due to the flowers drying up. Other areas around us received more rain than we did. There was no spring honey and no fall honey either, goldenrod was hardly anywhere to be found. I have pretty close to $500.00 invested in (4) hives so far. I don't mind one summer without honey but sometime in the future I hope this Venture will start paying for itself. Hobby or no Hobby one likes a little success to warrant further skills and effort. They did manage to put enough honey away for winter survival. I'll have to hone my skills and hope for better days. I think we can work this out if time and conditions show their friendlier side. I'm sure that's the case. I don't have honey, but I still have faith and hope. If we carry those on our wings, the honey will not be too heavy, to bring back on prevailing winds. Besides their presence in and about my life will always be a compensation not only to me, but to life itself. They earn their keep whether I am compensated or not. Profits or Extra's are not the only aims in life. If the Earth breathed at all this year it was to inhale; but soon she will have to exhale in order to carry abundant life forward. I hope I'll be here.

This is truly a strange and mysterious life we live now. I love, I read and I still stand amute before a Spirit I can't language. ...We live or die in our heads and our hands are moved to action through our hearts. ...Expression begins where thought ends. The absurd is sin without God. ...I pretend to know and yet I don't. I have not arrived but that's O.K. I'll keep going and reaching with hands of flesh for the transition of Spirit. When my foot prints disappear I may even be secure.

Many Blessings & Much Love,
Harvey Green

~~from a personal letter

~~reprinted from THE IDIOSYNCRATIC ICONOCLAST #2, 1986

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