The Day Almost Over

On the eve of the first day of spring of 2019, I split wood under a rising, near-full moon, the sky transitioning from blue to black, moving fast through all the shades of steel between. The wood was maple; straight-grained and riddled with intricate patterns of darkened fibers. It split easy. Behind me, between swings of the maul, I could hear the cows rustling through their evening ration of hay, and I paused every handful of swings and turned to watch them rustle and chew, rustle and chew. The moon was directly behind and over them, it had cleared the leafless branches, and with every pause I could see that the open space between the tree tops and the moon had increased ever so slightly.

I turned my back to the cows and to the fat moon. I set another round on the chopping block and raised the maul high over my head. So much wood still to cut, to skid, to split. The land still so deep in snow. The day almost over.




9 thoughts on “The Day Almost Over”

  1. Great post! I was doing farm work – though not nearly so strenuous as splitting firewood – last night at dusk too. And this morning I was up long before sunrise and saw the reverse of what you describe. And the moon was still pretty high in the western sky. Happy Spring!

  2. WHAT a magnificent moment Ben . . . beautifully shared. You allow my aging body to fantasise being Ben . . . physically fit, infused with passion, and forging ahead with life’s work while never neglecting the many natural wonders that surround us. THANKS!

  3. Cows make everything better. I figure everything would be different if I had a cow with me, walking down the street. Sweet post!

  4. The best time of year to cut firewood is when there is still snow on the ground. Everyone has heard how many times firewood warms you, and frankly I think it’s a gross underestimation.

  5. I saw that Cannon Mountain got a late season dump of powder snow, maybe they’ll be skiing into May. Snow, then mud, then Spring sometime before June 1st.

    1. Geez – another Vermont-loving Nebraskan! I am in Omaha often and almost got trapped in the Platte River flooding on my way home last Thursday. Nebraska is having its own mud season this year! The lower parts of my farm are a freaking mess.

      1. ‘Sorry to hear that, we had to make a long detour coming home from college visits with my Son because of I-29 being closed between St. Joe, MO, and Missouri Valley, IA. The Elkhorn and Platte Rivers flooding looks worse than in 2011 when the melting snow from the Rockies flooded the Missouri River valley. I read that some farmers in Valley, NE, have multiple feet of mud and sand covering some of their bean/corn fields. Mother Nature making a difficult job even harder yet again.

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