Just Hang On

June. The cows are on new grass. The apple trees in blossom. Friday’s rain ushered in a cold spell that feels almost fall-like, but still everything is growing, growing, growing, pushing skyward, full of new life, even as the world disintegrates into tiny shards of glass. I ride my bike, passing an old dairy farm, three young men in the barnyard. They’re gathered around an old John Deere tractor, tools scattered in all directions. I soon pass the herd, out grazing a rough piece of pasture. Their big heads swivel as they watch me pass. Jersey’s, mostly. So big and quiet.

Later, having ridden the gravel road miles further, to the point at which it has narrowed to a muddy track and then even a little further, I pass back by the cows and soon, the barnyard. Only one man working on the tractor now. No sign of the others. I descend a long, steep hill, pedalling faster and faster, until my eyes water with the speed and I’m out of gearing and there’s nothing left to do but just hang on.


10 thoughts on “Just Hang On”

  1. Ben….The first three sentences reaffirm our feelings that goodness still exists, that hope is in the air and that we need your posts in these very trying times. Thanks so much.

  2. When I lived in Hanover, June 1st was the peak of fiddlehead fern picking season. Picking, cleaning, and broiling a mess of Fiddleheads in butter is one of the few parts of life in northern New England that I truly miss. The bottom ground adjacent to brooks, rivers, and streams seemed to be more productive than highland areas. Funny thing, at least funny to me, was that educated/sophisticated people often looked down on people who harvested wild foods, like dandelion greens, fiddleheads, and elderberries. They nearly got a case of “the vapors” if you served them wild game.

  3. I bet you riding real fast like that makes you forget lots of bullshit….I’m going to try that!

  4. Somebody titled a ride on Strava recently, Any bike is a gravel bike if you believe. Glad to hear you are back on the bike. I remember asking you some years ago why you are running for exercise instead of riding. At that time I only rode a bike for exercise. Now I am a runner and love it. Don’t find much time to ride. Weird.

    1. I miss running sometimes, but my body doesn’t. Really been enjoying riding my bike lately. Nice to hear from you, Scott. Hope you’re doing well.

      1. Doing darn well considering. Been thinking a lot about mulching the orchard, when to cut hay, and trying to put siding on the last side of the house. Pretty privileged place to be, I suppose.

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