Then suddenly it was dark again an hour earlier, and it was very clear: We live in a small Nordic country.
The cranes gather in the depressions, at first there were only a few dozen, but now there are hundreds who sit there and moan. When I moved here, to the country, I didn’t even know where the screeching was coming from, and actually I didn’t even think about it. Now I know that it is the cranes who are gathering to get out of here in a joint action.
They are still flying back or forth in groups of 50 or 100, but actually they are waiting for the one sunny day to come, the day when the thermals are right. They will feel it when the day comes, and they will screech, a little more excited than usual, and they will infect the others, and they will screech too. And then, just after noon, when the soil will have warmed to the maximum, as much as it will never warm again this fall, then they begin.
The first rise and draw low circles over the group of others. But that makes the others too nervous, they have to mount too, they all have to mount, and then they feel the updraft under their wings and they know that this time they won’t land again to nibble on some more corn. No, this time they want to know. The thermals carry you up in spirals, thousands of birds, so far that you can no longer see them, until even the black dots that they are at the end disappear. And then they’re gone.
Actually, I should also travel to the south, I think. Two weeks, maybe three. Or even a few months to India. But it’s a pandemic. Even if you could go anywhere, there would be a pandemic.
My first therapist knew how essential escape is, at least for us modern individuals, who without escape are left with depression if you fail to attain mindfulness. The next therapist said I should face the problems, escape would be no way out. I’m thinking about making sauerkraut for the winter this year. The lactic acid fermentation preserves all vitamins and also drives uninvited guests out of the intestine. Actually, it’s not so bad that it doesn’t make any sense to think about fleeing. Whereby sauerkraut is also an escape.
Our Chancellor said that if we all stick together now, that we will have a nice Christmas with our loved ones. Meanwhile everyone knows that one shouldn’t raise that way, with threats. “If you are not good, then insert bad idea here.”
I ask the lover if we want to keep sheep in the meadow behind the lover’s house. Then we would have a common task. We could plant an oak grove and grow truffles on the roots. If we put them now, the first truffles could appear in five years. And the sheep graze upstairs. In autumn the new goats are slaughtered and the women graze and graze and have new children.
The man from whom we get the oak posts for the fence says that we have to be careful that the wolf doesn’t fetch the sheep. He saw the wolf running around the field in the middle of the day. The wolves drive the game in front of them, he says, and as soon as the wolf is in his territory, i.e. in the oak stake man’s territory, there is no more deer, no wild boar, nothing. You won’t even see a rabbit then, he says. Everyone fled from the wolf. And whoever is afraid is also hungry, which is why the game eats everything now. Such small pine seedlings, he shows with his hand, everything has been eaten away, they are all wolf damage. But he is not afraid of the virus, has fallen ill without symptoms, what is that supposed to be?
However, the swine fever worries him, he sells wild boar for one euro a kilo. African swine fever occurred in Germany for the first time in September 2020, I read later on the Internet where I actually wanted to order truffle spores. It is a viral disease that is transmitted from animal to animal. The animal then feels battered, exhausted, has a fever, cough, blood comes out of the anus and nose, after less than 48 hours the animal is dead, the mortality rate is one hundred percent.
So if I do, I don’t buy truffle spores, but a tree seedling that has been inoculated with truffles. The truffle is a mushroom and lives exclusively with the roots of a tree or bush. The truffle gives the root salt and water and the root of the truffle converts light into energy. The two of them cannot live without each other and do not question that further.
The mushrooms have a global mycelium, and their spores fly for miles. They are in constant contact with each other and only now and then do their fruits break through the forest floor and stretch their hats into the atmosphere. The lover says he’s in a bad mood because of the whole thing with the virus, and he doesn’t want to go anywhere anyway, he has already fled here. He tells the hunter that the city people love the wolf so much because they love nature, but the hunter says there is no nature here, there is only culture.
I don’t care now, I go to the woman who always brings vegetables from Poland and ask about white cabbage. I need: 8 kilos of white cabbage, 160g of salt, bay leaves, caraway seeds, juniper and a 10 liter fermentation pot, nothing more. The lactic acid bacteria occur naturally on fruit, vegetables and healthy intestinal flora.
Lola Randl, born 1980, is a director and writer. She lives in the Uckermark and published her second novel “The Crown of Creation” in autumn.