We awoke to a brush of snow, and when I went outdoors, I found the cows lying nose-to-tail along a windrow of composting wood chips, taking the rising heat into their bones. The snow is not unwelcome – it’s been too dry for too long – though a steady rain would be even better. Last week I passed a fire truck extinguishing an out-of-control brush fire, and a few days after that, a friend’s sugarwoods caught, kindled by a spark from the stack. An acre-and-a-half burned, and he’s grateful it wasn’t more.
It hasn’t rained since.
There is more to do than I know how to accommodate, or sometimes even consider. Strangely, last summer felt more relaxed than this summer is shaping up to be, probably because our task then was so clearly defined and understood, and everything else could go to hell. I mean, all we had to do was build a barn and a house. And move. Piece of cake, really. Plus, we had help, which cannot be underestimated, both for the increased capacity of labor and skills, but also (and perhaps equally) for the psychological boost.
We’ll be ok, of course. Things will get done, and that which doesn’t get done will get done later or ultimately be deemed unnecessary in the first place, and we’ll think to ourselves isn’t it lucky we didn’t do it back when we thought it had to get done, before we had a chance to realize it didn’t need doing at all?
It is noon now, the snow is still falling, the cows long since risen from their bed for feed and water. I bet when I go outside in a while they’ll be back on the chip pile, looking pleased with themselves in that distinctly bovine way, and I’ll amuse myself by imaging that their self-satisfaction is based on nothing more than realizing that all things they once deemed so important weren’t so important, after all.
And doesn’t it feel nice to rest those weary bones.