It started again this morning. The familiar metallic thud of empty hazelnut shells falling onto the porch roof. Every year the squirrels pluck the green clusters from the bushes weeks before they come ripe, and break the outer husk, eating the nuts inside, then dropping the shell onto the ground or onto my porch roof. I’ve tried various methods of stopping them, or at least slowing them down; predator dummies; live traps and relocation, air rifle; electric wires; but despite all this, I have not harvested any hazelnuts the previous three years….not a single one.
This year I have a new plan….let them have them and not worry about it. It does not matter. They are just like me….wanting to satisfy their desires and have enough to eat. They have their own family to feed. And anyway, I can go to the Co-op and for $30 I can have as many hazelnuts as I can use in a year’s time, at a lot less trouble. In their case they do not have that choice. My backyard is their only option.
I was thinking about all this while picking red raspberries and dropping them into a stainless steel bowl. How satisfying they will be with pancakes, maple syrup and coffee. Then I wondered if this is how it all ends. One minute I am going about my affairs picking raspberries and making plans for pancakes. The next minute I am laying on the ground, the berries scattered, my arms and face oozing droplets of blood where the briars pricked my flesh when I fell. How many days will I lay there hidden amongst the chest high brambles, until my dog gives my hiding spot away with her moaning, or by the neighbor’s kid asking his father what that bad smell is? By that point it will not matter. I will be at peace, and aware (maybe) that in the end, nothing of importance ever really mattered.