Last week, Celeste and I returned from Alberta, Canada, where the snowy winter still had a firm grip. The next day, I spent seven-and-a-half hours on the tractor mowing our cover crop, which had already flowered and was well along the way to going to seed. I’d planned to blog about why we mow the cover crop, our natural approach to frost protection, etc., but the day led me to a different line of thinking. I love to work on the tractor. I put on ear protection (a tractor is very loud) and my iPod ear buds so I can listen to music. I find the Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin are particularly appropriate accompaniments. As I work back and forth in the rows, I have a lot of time to observe, think, and reflect, and that is one of the attractions.
The day was indescribably beautiful: Seventy-five degrees, sunny, with spring in full force. Wildflowers were everywhere. I saw more insects than you can shake a stick at (I probably would be shaking my fist at some of them, but I don’t yet recognize all the ones that cause problems.) Lizards were darting about, grasshoppers were hopping, squirrels were out trying to remember where they left their walnuts, all manner of birds were flitting back and forth – I recognized cardinals and California blue birds darting about – and crows followed in my wake to see what the mower uncovered. Everywhere there were plants showing the fresh green that signifies spring. So much life all around me, and the simplest of it so complicated and mysterious—It was impossible not to feel awed.
I spent a lot of time thinking about my family and all the great times we’ve shared here and elsewhere. Before the field was a vineyard, it was a baseball diamond, Frisbee field, dog run, sand box, slip-and-slide track and place to walk under the stars.
It is very difficult to describe how it all hit me, but the best I can do is to say that I felt completely alive and joyful. It reminded me how lucky we are to be granted time to spend in this wonderful world, and how important it is not to waste any of it.
This week I plan to spade, so I doubt the next blog will be so high-minded. Cheers!