And Do It Again


First light

We had six full days of dry weather, the sun summer-high and fierce in the sky, though already I see how the days are shortening; when I awaken it is darker than it was just a two weeks ago, and soon enough it’ll be even darker than it is now. I don’t mind, really. There’s something about rising in the dark that makes the time feel stolen, as if my use of it will not count against the ticking clock of my day.

We finally got our first cut off the field, late this year by a month or more, as late as we’ve ever gotten first cut. Though not as late as some, for even now as I drive the backroads I pass unmowed fields, the grasses brown at the tops, long gone to seed. There’s going to be a shortage of dry hay this year, I think.

Then yesterday it rained again, steady and soaking and almost cold. I walked in the woods looking for chanterelles, for a time with Penny, then alone, finding none. All around me, the sounds of water – pattering against the protective canopy of the outstretched trees, running in small streams and rivulets down the land, splashing when I stepped into the small hollows where it had settled. And other sensations: The thighs of my work pants soon soaked through and thus heavy and tight against my skin, the drops that fall through the leaves to my face running down my cheeks. I lick them from the corners of my mouth and they taste just slightly of salt, the remnants of my labor in the hayfield, still present after two swims in the pond. Maybe next time I’ll use soap. I feel too the whorl of hair pasted against my forehead, breathe the fecund, deep-earth smell of the wetted forest.

Almost by accident I find my favorite ridge of rock, having arrived at from an unfamiliar angle, and I walk it length wise, balancing on its slippery spine until I reach its end. Then turn back and do it again.

13 thoughts on “And Do It Again”

    1. I think we all miss the boat at some point: Ben, you, me, our mothers. Life is one short sail and inevitably we buy tickets for the wrong boat. We end up in Hong We instead of Hong Why and then fret about it and fret about it and then, look! we’re back in Hong Why and find we wish it were Hong We.

      1. There’s an argument proposed from some one from some where that we bought the tickets that we were supposed to have. However, today and only today, (or until the next time) I’m not happy with the place where I disembarked.

    2. I guess the best way to respond is to say there are things I doubt and those I do not. Which isn’t much of a response at all, now that I think of it. But it’s true nonetheless.


  1. I love your command of words. I could smell the earth and my legs could feel the soaked work pants.

  2. I love that feeling of stealing time in the dark before the day begins.
    And I wish I had a wheelbarrow/carryall like yours…

  3. Water is pretty awesome. I wish people loved and appreciated it more…. Getting lost in the flow of water, wherever it is, or however it’s flowing, is mesmerizing. Plus it feels pretty good….and that’s why I LOVE WATER.

  4. “…pattering against the protective canopy of the outstretched trees, …”
    I was out in the woods the other day after a rain burst had passed,
    sky was clear but it was still ‘raining’ in the woods.

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