Rain or Shine
Weather has been the crux of minor and momentous decision making throughout history. Weather determined when battles were set in motion, when ships were launched, when potatoes were planted, and when people were buried. I am guessing that it is less so these days, after hearing the comment of a woman being interviewed in Seattle. "I heard it was sunny, so I thought I would come outside and check it out." HEARD it was sunny?!
A small farmer lives and dies by the weather. It is the first observation of the day. "50 degrees! Guess we will keep the hoophouses closed." "Looks like it is going to be dry - good day for cultivating." It determines when beans are planted, when flowers are picked and when hay is baled. It is a point of pride to be able to predict what the elements will serve in the hours ahead. It is akin to being a living part of the air and water - an arm that extends from the nurturing and destructive ether. We react by reaching to the soil, to our plants, to our animals and tending to them as is dictated by the weather.
We have nowhere to hide and rarely can we work around a rain squall or a 92 degree day. We are in it, we are part and parcel. Our "things to do" list must be very flexible. And, sometimes, in the middle of a project, we must just walk away, put the tools in the barn and find something else to do.
This early summer, thanks to the wet and typical "June Gloom", we are mucking around, mudding plants into the fields and trying to keep the slugs at bay. The rain molds and depresses, washes and refreshes. The sun, by its scarcity, exhilarates and burns.
So it goes. Under the heavens we labor, with awareness and gratitude that ours is a life integrated and responsive. And, in October, you will harvest the fruits of our labor … rain or shine.
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Wild Geese by Charles Goodrich
I'm picking beans when the geese fly over, Blue Lake pole
beans I figure to blanch and freeze. Maybe pick some dilly beans.
And there will be more beans to give to the neighbors, forcibly if
The geese come over so low I can hear their wings creak, can
see their tail feathers making fine adjustments. They slip-stream along
so gracefully, riding on each other's wind, surfing the sky. Maybe
after the harvest I'll head south. Somebody told me Puerto Vallarta is
nice. I'd be happy with a cheap room. Rice and beans at every meal.
Swim a little, lay on the beach.
Who are you kidding, Charles? You don't like to leave home
in the winter. Spring, fall, or summer either. True. But I do love to
watch those wild geese fly over, feel these impertinent desires glide
through me. Then get back to work.