10 Observations from Matt
1. Noah and Adam take turns offering Linda her halter, hoping she approaches and accepts it. She runs circles around them and refuses to let anyone touch her for hours. The new guys are eating hay out of her manger. The new guys are nibbling on her grass. The new guys are in her space. Linda stops at the paddock gate and glares at them. Who’s the boss?
2. Red and pink peonies, heavy-headed, almost sag out of their vases. When you pick up the fallen petals from the tablecloth, you carefully stack them.
3. When the irrigation mainline first opens, I put my ear against the open hydrant at the end to track the gurgles galloping toward the end. I feel a stampede in my brain.
4. I scythed a swath of neglected grass. Looking back, dark green railroad tracks bend eastward, striking the line my feet shuffled the whole way.
5. Theresa doesn’t wear a hat.
6. Becky and Corey go for walks at dusk. Private time in a public house.
7. Joanne lifts a corner of row cover from a bed. I’m down wind. Peppery sweetness! The arugula is ready.
8. Four-hundred and fifty feet of carrots, forgotten for weeks, begin to puff out the row cover. You step on the pillowy cover as you try to hurdle the bed. When it tears, it pops. Underground and under cover, the first carrots of summer are always a surprise.
9. People who tend to crouch during meetings:
10. Riding on the back of the harvest truck to pick eight-hundred and forty bunches of kale, Elizabeth asks if passersby pity us. I don’t think so. I love growing things, deciding what lives and dies, as Adam puts it. Think of Sisyphus. Nature humiliates us every day, sending us back down the hill. How else do we grow food?
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
With your one wild and precious life?
- Mary Oliver, “The Summer Day”