Dinner tonight starts with a nice big diced onion dropped in a skillet of piping hot butter and olive oil. It’s followed by chopped celery, sweet peppers, broccoli and cauliflower, celery, carrots, sliced mushrooms, cooked brown rice, soy sauce, a pound of canned venison, a smidge of brown sugar, a dash of salt. We’re following a recipe in the way we hike through unfamiliar territory using a map as a general reference.
March slipped out unnoticed, leaving us mired in a string of cold days with blustery winds and rain. Spring is coming but has taken a hiatus.
Geese are incubating. There is one sitting on a nest in a flower pot on the dock. The other day the old dog ambled down the boardwalk and was crossing the dock when the gander appeared from nowhere with obvious purpose, mouth open, red tongue wagging. It bit the dog mid-body while thrashing her with strong wings. The dog spun and snapped, then cowered and slunk away, baffled by the experience. She has since become highly respectful of geese and we now have to escort her around the pond while she avoids eye contact with the watchful gander.
This dog has always had a propensity for killing things with fur, but never shown interest in birds. She has lived her years in close proximity to geese, always in peace, so is bewildered by their sudden aggression towards her. I attempt psychoanalysis, suggesting she consider the dozens of animals she’s terrorized over the years, but my logic has no influence and she walks away indignant, head low.
The people of Ukraine, who a few weeks ago were going about daily routines without incident, suddenly are recipients of an unjustified and unprovoked attack. Unlike the old dog, they aren’t dwelling in self pity, but standing their ground, fighting back with valor and determination. The world watches, throwing sanctions at the aggressor, stepping gingerly in an attempt to avoid a larger conflict. Reports of slaughter and torture and war crimes filter in, and we wonder what Russian soldiers have been fed to so detest their neighbors (including some of their countrymen), that they resort to brutality and sport killing.
Last night we watched Jojo Rabbit, a 2019 movie about a 10 year old German boy during the last Great War. He pledges his allegiance to Hitler, but things get complicated when he learns his mother is hiding a young Jewish girl in the attic. It’s a story about the power of brainwashing, love, the lunacy of war, all applicable today.
Billy Strings came across the Bose this morning:
“While chunks the size of Delaware
Are falling off the poles
Our heads are buried in the sand
Our leaders dug the hole
Like junkies hooked on fossil fuel
Headin' for withdrawal
How long until there's nothing left at all?”
Back in the kitchen the flavors meld in the skillet. I slap a lid on the dish and slide it in the oven for final processing. After 30 minutes it’s ready, and is dipped steaming onto plates alongside liberally buttered slices of fresh baked bread. It’s a great success, highly delectable, better than anticipated. It’s an ointment, a ray of warm sun on a gloomy spring day.