Jul. 9th, 2007

I live in a neighborhood that was once a thriving Italian community - Briar Hill. There's even a style of pizza named after the area (red sauce, sautéed green peppers, and a sprinkling of parmesan cheese, no mozzarella).

Most of the Italian families moved away years ago leaving Briar Hill pretty barren. While walking Dart last summer I found the deli with a sign in the window claiming to be the home of the original Briar Hill Pizza. The building looked like it had been bombed. The walls were blackened and the rook had half fallen in, bullet holes in the windows and cracked pavement. I walked by quickly.

My section of Briar Hill is pretty nice. The city came in years ago and took out a bunch of abandoned houses and later used the neighborhood as a staging area for a highway project. More old houses were replaced by fields and trees, the streets, sidewalks and streetlights were all replaced, they even rebuilt a number of the old retaining walls along the edges of yards. It all looks great, I have a big yard and, mostly, quiet neighbors, but the joy is finding the remains of all those old gardens.

Fragrant sweet peas bloom all summer long. Rose of Sharon bushes throng the bottom of the yard (in the fall I dig them up to plant along the street corners) and in every patch of tall grass is garlic. Now is the time to find it. The garlic whistles are swaying in the summer breeze and the bulbs are hot and strong. Not as big as the fattened commercial bulbs, but the flavor is amazing.

Thank you, thank you whoever you were for your garlic! I will say a novena for you as I work the soil and gather the garlic you planted. Some I will leave for the next, some I will feed to those I love and some I will hoard for myself.

“Listen, my faithful children; open up your petals, like roses planted near running waters; send up the sweet odor of incense, break forth in blossoms like the lily. Send up the sweet odor of your hymn of praise; bless the Lord for all he has done.” (Sir 39:13-14)

X posted to American Metaphysics



January 2008

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