The angry nettle and the mild
Grew together under the blue-plum trees
I could not tell as a child
Which was my friend of these.
Always the angry nettle in the skirt of his sister
Caught my wrist that reached over the ground,
where alike I gathered-- for the one was sweet and the other wore a frosty dust--
The broken plum and the sound.
The plum trees are barren now and the black knot is upon them,
That stood so white in the spring.
I would give, to recall the sweetness and the frost of the lost blue plums,
I thrust my arm among the grey ambiguous nettles, and wait,
But they do not sting.
E. St. V. Millay
Bibliomancy brought me to that poem and I suppose it is as good as any for what I am about to post.
Last week I finally got called up-- marching orders back to Kansas. The California adventure is done, all that remains is to negotiate the treaties and then the new war begins. In July I'll be dropped in the mosquito grass jungle and for good this time.
This has long been a potential and desired assignment-- my countenance has turned towards it as sunflowers the sun for years-- but the finality remains new and fearful. So much left to do. So much to leave.
But I've a horse there and a motorcycle too. A vineyard, twenty acres and a good dog named Jethro. Over in Lawrence I've the Paden family, the Kipp's, and perhaps the best brew-pup in the world. And the work, the work that waits for me there because I don't write from memory, a functional amnesiac, but I want to know the grasslands, learn again the stars, brace against falcon winds.
Gee up, old heart. The nettles will sting again.