Sometimes it’s Hard

Finally, rain, damping the dust and raising the color in the trees to a high pitch, almost a glow, really, so that now everything looks just the way God the tourism department intended, and I no longer feel sorry for the peepers, here from many states or even continents away, spending their hard-earned dollars in pursuit of dying leaves. Now they’re getting just what they came for, and it’s amazing, it’s beautiful, worth every penny spent and probably a few more. I pass them pulled over to the side of the road, over-dressed for the weather, iPhones locked and loaded, ass end of idling rental car protruding into the travel lane. I go slow and wave and am pleased when they wave back.

In the mornings I find the cows gathered at the gate. They’re off pasture now, dependent on their keepers for their daily ration. We’ll not let them down, and whether they know this or merely have no expectations is impossible to say, but either way that’s how I find them, waiting with uniquely bovine contentment under the outstretched limbs of a red maple, their hooves partially obscured by fallen leaves.

Driving the backroads yesterday I kept glancing in the rearview mirror to watch the spindrift of foliage in my wake, swirling and spiraling over the roadway, then falling to lay on the dirt again, a brief respite before the next car passes.ย It’s warm still, unseasonably so, and I bathe in the pond daily (or nearly so), thinking with every plunge that surely this will be the last of the year. Though of course I thought the same the day before. Sometimes it’s hard to recognize the end of things.





15 thoughts on “Sometimes it’s Hard”

  1. No kidding! (hard to recognize the end of things). Here, air heavy from the smoke from distant fires. Waiting for rain. Noticing that the old ranch in northern California has freeze warning already. Hurry getting ready for our unique winter. Thanks for the mind vacation. I can picture what you describe.

  2. Ben,

    Your words are beautiful. I have been brought to tears, many times, by them.

    God Bless you and your family,


  3. If you’ve never lived in northern New England and experienced the magnificent splash of colors across the hills, you can’t really appreciate it and if you do live there, you can easily grow indifferent to it because it doesn’t seem as special as it is. Folks in Colorado talk about the golden Aspens, but to me the best autumn colors are those found for a few days each year in NH and VT. If I could get away from harvest and moving cattle, I’d be happy to fly to Burlington or Manchester, rent a car and drive the highways and byways of NH and VT. Heck, I’d probably make time for a lobster or two at Newick’s, a famous grinder from Coronis’ Market, and a bowl of clam and mushroom soup at Colatina Exit.

    Hey Ben, I discovered that an inexpensive pair of FROG-TOGGS Pro Advantage pants are a nice to have for moving cattle. No matter how often, or in what volume, they crap on your FROG-TOGGS, they rinse off easily, dry quickly, and (so far) don’t retain the associated odor.

    1. I think I’ve seen every foliage season in VT since I was born (I might’ve been gone for one of them, can’t quite remember), and I’m still blown away by it.

      I’ll check out those pants, thanks for the tip.

  4. Pretty soon you’ll need an axe to chop a hole in your pond for that daily swim! ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฟ๐ŸŠ๐Ÿฟ

  5. I’m beginning to think that cows ‘change people’….or do good things for people. I should get a cow and tap into this ‘bovine contentment’. Maybe it’s because they’re so big, or because their eyes are so big….the eyes mesmerize and pull you in I bet. Magic f’in cows!

  6. It’s always funny to me to hear people debate the beauty (or lack thereof) of the current year’s colors (Are they going to be good this year? No, it’s been too dry, too wet, too warm, etc.) Autumn is my favorite season if only because it goes by two names. My boys ask why that is and I say “Because it’s the prettiest, it deserves two names.” I hope I never get so jaded that I find any autumn leaf display to be less than spectacular. Thanks for another wonderful post!

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