Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sept 18, 2013


A sunshine day! There are no clouds in the sky. It started cool, then when the sun thoroughly fired up the warmth filled body and soul. Perhaps because of the disappointing summer, the more am I appreciative of days like this. I was sick for most of the summer. I couldn't seem to start feeling right. Kathleen, my wife, was remarking about all the weight I have lost. My nose drained, my garden flopped. The bad weather in July was intense. My garden never quite got started. The plants' roots rotted as the drainage failed to keep up; the puddles carried on forever; and the listless sunshine stunted everything. I thought that the plants would make up for lost time when the weather turned. But apparently that is not how gardens work. I wouldn't know. In forty years of tending a garden, I have never had a failure like this. It was as if the game had changed. Could it be something drastic has happened to the sky, that we will never again see it as once before? As if the plants had frozen, the dead, listless look never went away. It was mid-August before my tomato plants developed their normal ferny look, but even then they did not smile at the sun, just drooped over listless. My, I thought, it couldn't be that bad. I weeded and hoed and drained the best I could, hoping an extra long season would pull them through, and I'd get some production, but no extra long season and no production. The growing is just about at an end after two frosty, though not freezing nights in a row. Maybe it will get warmer, but the sun is falling, collapsing out of the sky, and each day seems shorter by more than you'd expect. I ran the woodstove last night and the night before. The moon was full, and frost drenched the grass and mushed in the moonlight on my pickup's windshield, seeming to turn the color of snow, hoary, pale. My feelings toward this coming fall are as listless as my plants. I still get up early, by now in this season well before dawn. From my window I watch the pale sun painfully slowly fill in the front yard. Is it me or do the banty hens seem grumpy, too? There is an edge to their voices. Even prior to sunrise, still in the dark, obeying some unusual, inexplicable impulse, they castigate the sky. The philosophy of the morning is impugned. Twelve more of our comrades are senselessly killed. Why is there such a deluge in Colorado? I am restless, bitter. The dusky, sharp scent of a skunk warns me not to let out the dogs, who are anxiously waiting by the door. A sharp ray of sunlight drifts onto the barn. Get up! One must remind one's self. Your body must bear the weight of your works. Sometimes this is not easy. The goats come out of the barn; they are staring at the house, my very window. It is plain time to get started. The sun of this brilliant day illuminates my way. My heart warms as I work.

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