Soul Pops

SOUL POPS
BY MARGE PITTS

Have: a garden. Take care of it.
Install: a birdhouse in your garden early in the spring. Hope a pair of tree swallows or bluebirds chooses it.
Grow: cherry tomatoes, peas, beans, strawberries and raspberries, and other edible plants to taste.
Add: a thick mulch of sweet dry straw.
Don’t add: chemical pesticides to your garden, or this recipe will not turn out right.
Go to the garden when you have a lot of anxious thoughts on your mind. Suggested topics: bills to pay (when?), communicating with children (how?), existential angst (why?), ambiguous remarks made by others (what?), and other projections and illusions to taste.
Sit down in the sweet mulch of your garden. If you stand up your tree swallows will strafe you and hover in your face fearlessly. No bird can fly better than a tree swallow. If you have bluebirds, they will perch nearby and look frankly at you with an air of ownership of your garden. If the male bluebird turns his back and gives you a good look at his excellent blueness, you will surrender to him ownership of your soul. This is natural, and will enhance the recipe.
Find the first ripe thing in your garden. Probably a pea, then a strawberry, then a raspberry, then a green bean, then a cherry tomato. This part occurs over the course of several weeks in the summer, during which time stands still, but only when you’re in your garden.
Pop the ripe thing into your mouth and eat it quickly. Then pick a handful more and eat them slowly. Crawl around and eat a little bit of everything that is ready. From a respectful distance, try to see the baby birds inside the birdhouse. Notice the serious, insatiable look on their faces. Remind you of anyone? Wait for the parent bird to return with a big squirming grub in its bill. Whose turn is it?
Pop the next ripe thing into your mouth. It is your turn, to feel taken care of by this amazing, splendid earth.
Repeat next year.

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