On Hoeing By Moonlight: First Green Bean Harvest

The Hungry Gap

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This morning, I harvested our first green beans . . .  and continued my reading of the poet Cesare Pavese.  Together, they arrested the gravitational pull of high-summer heat.  We sometimes feel claustrophobic when the summer heat reaches its upper registers, but how much more easily we close ourselves in.  How easily we fall into dejection when circumstances aren’t perfectly favorable.  With the poet, we say:

Mist clogs the sunshine,
smoky dwarf houses
Hem me round everywhere;
A vague dejection
Weighs down my soul. – Matthew Arnold, Consolation.

These beans delight me. Though we tend to take them for granted, they are small wonders. There is deep satisfaction in hunting for them far down in the bushes, pinching them off with thumb and forefinger, dropping them in the basket, carrying them to the house, cooking them well, and eating them one at a time.

We can discover the…

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