It Was a Very Nice Thought to Think

It snowed again in the night, and was still snowing when I awoke, three inches on the ground already and mounting. At chore time I loaded square bales into a utility sled and pulled them through the orchard to the cows, who marked my progress from under the outstretched boughs of the big spruce trees lining the pasture’s crest. I watched them watch me, their heads slowly swiveling to track my journey. The snow was dense and the sled heavy, and I was glad I’d worn my new boots, the ones with the deep tread and the soles that don’t leak. I like them very much.

Yesterday, driving a back road not far from here, but far enough that I don’t drive it often, I passed a sap bucket hanging from a telephone pole and then another, affixed to a spruce. I remembered the roadside pumpkins I saw last December, and was grateful all over again for those, and now for the whimsy of these sap buckets. I imagined the delight of the person hanging them, how in some form or another they must have envisioned a moment just like this one. And then I thought (the buckets now far behind me, a sleety substance pelting my windshield, the sky heavy, low, insistent) of how they’d been delighted to imagine my delight, and how I was delighted to imagine theirs.

Ah. It was a very nice thought to think.


9 thoughts on “It Was a Very Nice Thought to Think”

  1. Similarly (but different) we used to tuck notes into the wood pile at Keene Farm when we stacked in the summer, notes like “it’s 80 degrees and the gangs all here” , stuff like that.

  2. Bovines watching you watch them; neighbors spoofing you regarding them. How sweet to be so interconnected!

  3. I drove 457 miles across some of Illinois and all of Iowa today. Lots of farmers out in their fields, some putting nitrogen into the ground via anhydrous ammonia, some spreading manure for whatever reason they spread manure, some even planting corn in western Illinois.

    Nebraska is greening up and since I turned on the lawn sprinklers last Thursday, I sincerely hope that we’ve seen our last snow and freezing weather for at least 6 months.

  4. Driving home from visiting my dad in another state this past holiday season, in a very dark, empty stretch of roadside, I noticed an Eastern Red Cedar decorated like a Christmas tree. Like you, it made me smile to think of someone bringing the solar powered strings of lights, comically large colored globes, and ladders to climb out to the far reaches of their fields to decorate a tree for people they would never meet, or even see. Religious connotations (or, really, inferences on my part – but I am in the Bible Belt) aside, it was simply a nice little unexpected burst of color.
    Everything is greening up here in central KY, and my orchard is overdue for a mow – lest I lose my trees! It’s spring, yet we have had snow (but nary an accumulation) every week for the past five or six weeks. An interesting spring for sure.

  5. As I drive up into the mountains to work, as I occasionally get to do, I pass a house in a tiny town. In front of the house, where the mailbox might be placed is a tree. High up in the tree, they have a mailbox attached to a long, canter-levered pole fastened to the tree trunk, 30 feet up in the tree, red flag up. Just waiting for the snow to be deep enough for that letter to get collected. Makes me smile every time. Just like your sap bucket on the phone pole. Love these details.

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