"We are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike." ~Maya Angelou

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Day In Between Worlds

    I live in two separate worlds: 1) the quiet, wind ruffled acres of the farmstead, with its gardens, stream and woods and 2)  the homes of my children, amid the rush and racket of the city. The two have little in common, save myself, and passing from one to the other is not an easy thing for me. It is difficult, letting go; of stillness on the one hand and family on the other.

     There is always one awkward, restless day of settling in, when I travel either way, of which half is wasted before I realize what is wrong. Every time it is the same. One would think I would become comfortable with the transition, but I have not. If only this farm were a mere five miles outside of the city. I could retire to my own space each evening, with my own things and time to read or rest or wander. Yet I would be close enough to drop in for dinner or an afternoon spent at the park with grandchildren. I could have friends out for a quiet walk around and conversation. That would be nice.
      It is now the evening of that day of interval.  I have done some work in the gardens, adding compost and mulch to the roses and the young trees.  I am getting them tucked in for the coming months of cold and snow.  There is more to do than you might imagine, if you are not a gardener.  There are trees to be planted, early enough to allow for rooting in before the hard frost. Spring bulbs and the gnarled roots of Iris need planting or transplanting during this time as well.  Elephant Ear and Canna bulbs need lifting, to be stored inside, away from ice and snow.  Not everything is as hardy as Iris. The mums are lovely mounds of color, here and there.

     My winter birds are showing up already. Two pair of Cardinals, four tiny Chickadees and two pair of Tufted Titmouse. More of the glorious extended family of the Sparrow clan arrive every day. They gossip and twitter happily in the Lilacs and Mock Orange most afternoons. This afternoon I spied the beautiful black and white checkered back of the Red-Bellied Woodpecker high in the old Elm. I heard him tap, tap, tapping this morning as I walked Maggie's Wood, checking on the young Willow and Cottonwoods.
       I have picked up stalks of field maize from the sides of harvested fields along the road and tied them into the young Elm tree beside the fountain. All the little birds are most appreciative. I will toss my nippers in the car and gather more, next time I take to the road.
      There is a haze in the West this evening.  The soothsayers predict a day or two of rain upcoming. I hope they are correct this time. We certainly need the moisture on the newly sown seed, wheat and alfalfa.  The soybean fields have turned yellow and stand ready for harvesting.  The next time I drive home from the city I will find them swept clean.
      It is too quiet now. No wind at all and only the relentless drone of a cricket to fill the silence. The birds have found their roosts for the night and are silent. The coyotes are not yet on the prowl.

     This evening I will take myself to bed early. Tomorrow I will be fully at ease here and look forward to sharing lunch with a friend. Sweet dreams to all of you, whether here in this country or across the sea.  I am sending you good wishes for health, peace and happiness. 

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