🔘 Daily Notes .9 - Medicine I Know
Planting trees and harvesting willow near Anaconda, MT
🔘 Daily Notes chronicles my unedited thoughts at the moment, from day to day. This series will end at 1.0, or 10 total posts 🍵
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Medicine I Know
Written while sleeping in a warehouse between shifts planting trees on the largest superfund site in the USA, a place where trees may never grow again.
Rosehips glow red in the last light of day— Grow above a dry ditch, near a path, where many pass Unpicked, I gather ten handfuls to make rosehip soup. In the dry hills far away I planted roses this fall on hillsides so toxic grass wouldn't grow. The work: three weeks on slopes so steep in heat, and rain, rocks, and the build-up of yellow, arsenic-laced dust on all my clothes. Barely time to cook at night, have to get going at first light of morning. Up the haul roads we drove, donned hard hats Hands cramped, swung the dag up, and down into bitter, broken, pitted, rocky soil. What would grow, I asked: one plant in a fifty, someone guessed. Groves of aspens, like bones, filled the valley bottoms, ducks swam toxic water in the slough. Then to see roses near a path, growing, fruiting, fine reminded me that not all is like this. Handfuls of small fruits: seedy, but not dry— add to a cup of simmering water and simmer for forty-five minutes. Strain through mesh, or squish with a spoon. Add water if needed. Then pour into a bowl. Add a little sugar. Top with a dollop of cream. The liquid red, warm, orange. In the old warehouse, in my camping pot, far from those hills where things may never grow. Medicine I know.