Early in the evening I walk a half-mile to the town hall for a select board meeting. It’s snowing hard. The snow catches in the rough nap of my jacket and accumulates on the tops of my boots. The road is unplowed and I walk straight down its middle because that’s what passes for excitement these days. Coming home I spot a truck off the road at the corner just past the one-way bridge, and quicken my pace, because the opportunity to pull someone out of a ditch is even more exciting than walking down the middle of the road in an April snowstorm. But by the time I reach the stuck truck, another truck has stopped and a tow strap is being strung between the two vehicles. There’s nothing to do but idly watch and secretly hope that Truck A is too stuck for Truck B to extract it and I’ll have reason to jog home for the tractor and a chain. It’s been a lean year for pulling rigs from ditches – I haven’t notched a single one, come to think of it – and lord knows I need a little something to juice the adrenals.
Alas, the pull goes down without a hitch, and I continue on my ambling way, step-by-step through the insistent squall, six-inches or more already, the snow that takes the snow, the poor man’s fertilizer, the softest, quietest quilt draped lightly over the land.