For five whole days, sun. And with the sun, heat. Along dirt roads I drive past newly mown hayfields, taking that sweet smell deep to the bottom of my lungs. Standing in line at Willey’s, I listen as customers lament the heat and humidity. I wait my turn, buy my ice cream sandwich, eat it in the truck on the drive home, slowing for two chickens to cross the road, then speeding up again. Gary Clark Jr on the stereo.
Soon home, I am alone, my family scattered like dandelion seed. I’m alone so much more now; my sons teetering on the cusp of adulthood, both with jobs, both with lives steadily expanding like filling balloons, like my lungs breathing hay smell, my wife immersed in myriad projects and collaborations beyond this small holding.
I feed the chickens, fill the cows’ water, and dip into the pond where, if one dives deep enough, it’s still cold enough to take your breath away.