The Arborification of Baucis and Philemon
There are three things I like about the story:
1. Once upon a time two strangers came seeking shelter. They knocked on a thousand doors and were turned away a thousand times, until they came to a small, humble cottage.
2. The tenderness with which Ovid lists their offerings: a couch with willow frame and feet, and a sedge-grass mattress upon it; earthenware plates, goblets of beech coated with yellow wax, a silver mixing-bowl for the wine; the table set with cabbage and bacon 'saved up so long'; handfuls of green mint, olives, cherries 'preserved in dregs of wine, endive and radish', cottage cheese, whole eggs; nuts and figs, dates and plums and apples, purple grapes, a white honeycomb.
When the wine in the mixing-bowl did not go down, they knew they were in the presence of gods.
3. To put a hand out and touch grace: your fingers interlocking with mine, weaving into bark; watching the wind lift your hair into leaves; feet deepening into the ground; the contentment of your body unfolding towards the sky, growing into another kind of open.
By Koh Tsin YenQLRS Vol. 6 No. 2 Jan 2007