Friday, November 4, 2011

Saying goodbye to another season...

The weeks following the first hard frost are always rough for me emotionally. An entire 8-month season of built-up energy and momentum, knocked down by this final inevitable blow by the gods of weather. It's the great Humbling. The beginning of the Great Rest.

From the first excited spring plowing, the tiny seeds nurtured in the greenhouse, the hours spent weeding and cultivating, irrigation tape laid out and repaired, water pumped thousands of feet to nourish healthy roots, to the harvest bins dragged alongside plants brimming over with bounty. The mud has warmed and dried, yielded a crop of rainbow-colored nutrition, and now grows cold again. Everything goes back to mud.

I have a few more weeks of digging up root vegetables and packing up the farm. Then the landscape which over the summer saw kids running through fields of flowers and farmers in sunglasses driving tractors carrying watermelons turns into pure tundra. Snow will drift through the fences and gates and dead tomato vines, the earthworms will burrow deep into the soil, and the deer, unhassled, will poke their antlers through the snow to graze on our rye. I will be warm and cozy, pouring through seed catalogs, adjusting the crop map, and reading books about soil health.

I wrote a poem for the occasion:

nests of

mourning doves, robins, nervous killdeer in the bean field

another generation, long ago grown feathers and fledged

empty farm without even crickets

sunny morning after a frost


life seems to have gone inside

or south on vacation

leaves are gone and far things seem closer

though open space feels larger, even more open

the urgent need to plow, to harrow, to cultivate

is absent

and in its place

a kind of comfort-seeking calm

the need now is to sit down smiling with friends

sharing hot food and drinks



RobinBNY said...

Lovely. You have a great way with words.

Judy Warner said...

Thanks for a great season, Erin! Looking forward to next year.