In the field across the mountain road the farmer is making hay; this morning I walked up on the knoll behind the barn and looked across to that field, past the church steeple, over the road and the low-running stream, and I could see the long, serpentine windrows of raked hay, could hear the distant clatter of machinery, could imagine the smell of drying grasses so perfectly it hardly mattered that I couldn’t smell them at all.

God but it’s been a summer. Weather so perfect I don’t even know what to say. Though already I notice the diminishing daylight; it’s dark when I awake, and it’s dark again before I’m ready for bed, and this morning I felt chilled while doing chores for the first time in I don’t know how long. I split and stacked firewood after chores; my family is away, and I’ve promised myself I’ll have the firewood finished by their return, though I also promised myself I’d have it finished by the first of June, and we can see how well that worked out.

I guess I don’t write here much anymore, though in my head I’m always writing. The world is so full of stories, but I’ve felt a little greedy with them lately. Recently I heard someone define a writer as a person who is willing to let the dream of writing die, which I took to mean that to actually write, to wrest the words out of our heads and onto paper, means accepting the truth of the process, which of course is never as wondrous as the dream. Which I guess makes it like pretty much everything else.

I thought I’d be able to say this better. See what I mean?

The breeze is picking up. It might rain tonight. We could use it. I’ll sleep with the window open above my head, hoping to be woken in the night by rain on my face.


14 thoughts on “Hoping”

  1. You say it pretty darn good, Ben. Hope you are all swimming in that greenery now. Every August, and now exactly 3 years later, I have the flashbacks to the smells, the green, the hilly roads and sounds of rain of Vermont.

  2. Even though you now only write here sparingly, its always a nice surprise to see a Lazy Mill Hill email in the inbox. I hope you keep it up, with whatever schedule you’re able. Having moved from northern VT nearly 5 years ago, the vivid scenes you draw in your writing almost always make me long for my VT days. Thanks

  3. I love the question, “See what I mean?” So engaging. Draws a person in. By the way, what happened to all the pictures you used to add to your posts? That just occurred to me. Anyway, love your word pictures.

    1. Penny takes the pics, and she hasn’t been taking many of late… those she does take generally end up on IG.

      Good point about “see what I mean”… it sorta forces a pause, doesn’t it? Like… hmm, do I see what he means??

  4. At a time where there are too many horror stories I lean into your writings and their splendid mundane yet divine comfort. Thank you.

  5. Just as the dream of respiration dies with each breath, the dream of writing is reborn every time one feels the urge to share. The cycling is inevitable. Naming it is not. Writing is generous, courageous. Certainly yours is.

  6. This summer has been heaven after thewinterthatwouldnotend. Loving it so much. Though I could have done without the house getting struck by lightening tonight. Fried a few electrical things I was not meant to keep.

    1. Actually, the vivid images that Ben paints about Vermont with words are better that actually living in Vermont. You can experience the good without having to actually deal with those negative aspects that accompany Vermont’s four seasons; frost heaves, mud season, black flies, and leaf peepers, just to name a few.

  7. I find myself greedily awaiting each snippet of life you do write here. it disconnects me momentarily from whatever is going on in my life and simplifies the moment for me. Your observations on the life around you reminds me to be more mindful and observant.

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