Doesn’t It Feel Nice

IMG_2424We 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.

11 thoughts on “Doesn’t It Feel Nice”

  1. “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?”

    That really is one of the best feelings – and so well put.

  2. Back on form Mr Hewitt:)
    And yes ….I liked the quote above too …many of us are pretty much FORCED to get done things that are damned ridiculous……making us neglect the essentials in life …it’s called being a ‘wage slave’ in this insane ‘corporate’ world …and that’s why it’s so good reading your blog …the words of someone whose doing it DIFFERNTLY …..showing that there IS an alternative ….no it’s not some sublime idyll ….there’s a harsh side to living your lifestyle ….BUT on the whole I would say you’re a lucky a man Ben .You SHOULD feel good about all you are doing ….and Thankyou so much for sharing it …..albeit across the ether:)

  3. I liked your quote: “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?” Sort of reminds me of what my Daddy always told me when I was worrying about something: Don’t meet trouble half-way for it may never get it here. Nice post.

  4. I’ve been complaining for a couple weeks about the lack of precipitation. Seriously??? I thought global warming meant more flooding? Where’s the damn flood already? Watering things with a 300′ hose with nasty city chemical water isn’t working for me.

    Well hey, at least you’re not sitting at a stupid desk, eating fast food and rushing home to sit in front of the TV after work because you hate your life. That butter isn’t going to make itself. Hope it eases for you sometime…..someday….:}

  5. Another way I’ve heard it said is “what is truly important will get done.” What was important for us this afternoon after lunch was to head off down the bridle path behind our barn for about a 15 minute walk to what my boys call “The Enchanted Place” – a twisting, gently rolling creek hidden in a shady thicket of woods. I don’t even know who the property belongs to and I’ve never seen sign of anyone else (human) there. There is always time for the TO DO list. Thanks for your words!

  6. So much of life is truly optional but culture indoctrinates that we must do this be this way and even we are this. Much of life I guess is learning or as the case may be unlearning all this crap. Yes that person that you’ve been taught is x and y may actually on meeting be a lovely person. And no we don’t need to upgrade the car or go to the hottest new spot for summer. Hanging at home can be awesome once we stop pining for what we are constantly told we must.

    Often when I am in a tiz I do a mind switch and say I am so lucky to have so much how about I play with that and have a totally awesome day just right there. I walk to the beach and right there I have loads of fun just listening to the waves. Simple as can be.

    I bet the cows aren’t thinking at all but rather relishing that warmth getting in deeply.

    Thank you for sharing Ben and all.

  7. Isn’t April 26th rather late in the calendar year for new snow in Vermont?

    I like to look at the live summit cam feed from Cannon Mountain in Franconia, NH, from time to time and I noticed they were in a whiteout snow storm yesterday. Today, there is snow on the ground in places that there hasn’t been natural snow for at least a month. Strange weather that you’re having in New England! 51 with heavy rain in fly-over Nebraska.

    1. Jeff– In recent years perhaps, not so much over the years. In 1978 we were newlyweds living in North Hyde Park, VT renting from a dairy farmer. We were out cross country skiing on April 24 that year, and my wife took her ski pole and turned it upside down and driving it down in the snow. It was 4 ft deep! During that ski we saw our landlord who commented that he had not tapped his sugar bush yet. Ah, back when winter was winter.

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