I’m glad I am alive, to see and feel The full deliciousness of this bright day, That’s like a heart with nothing to conceal; The young leaves scarcely trembling; the blue-grey Rimming the cloudless ether far away; Brairds, hedges, shadows; mountains that reveal Soft sapphire; this great floor of polished steel Spread out amidst the landmarks of the bay. ~William Allingham from “On a Forenoon of Spring”
Spring is wrapping itself up
in blue skies and cotton candy dawns,
rows of crop sprouts
dots of fruit among fresh leaves.
There is hope renewed here in water and landscape,
a foretaste of heaven.
The songs of small birds fade away into the bushes after sundown, the air dry, sweet with goldenrod. Beside the path, suddenly, bright asters flare in the dusk. The aged voices of a few crickets thread the silence. It is a quiet I love, though my life too often drives me through it deaf. Busy with costs and losses, I waste the time I have to be here—a time blessed beyond my deserts, as I know, if only I would keep aware. The leaves rest in the air, perfectly still. I would like them to rest in my mind as still, as simply spaced. As I approach, the sorrel filly looks up from her grazing, poised there, light on the slope as a young apple tree. A week ago I took her away to sell, and failed to get my price, and brought her home again. Now in the quiet I stand and look at her a long time, glad to have recovered what is lost in the exchange of something for money. ~Wendell Berry “The Sorrel Filly”
We turned into the drive, and gravel flew up from the tires like sparks from a fire. So much to be done—the unpacking, the mail and papers … the grass needed mowing …. We climbed stiffly out of the car. The shut-off engine ticked as it cooled.
And then we noticed the pear tree, the limbs so heavy with fruit they nearly touched the ground. We went out to the meadow; our steps made black holes in the grass; and we each took a pear, and ate, and were grateful. ~Jane Kenyon “Coming Home at Twilight in Late Summer”
I’ve banked nothing, or everything. Every day the chores need doing again. Early in the morning, I clean the horse barn with a manure fork. Every morning, it feels as though it could be the day before or a year ago or a year before that. With every pass, I give the fork one final upward flick to keep the manure from falling out, and every day I remember where I learned to do that and from whom. Time all but stops.
But then I dump the cart on the compost pile. I bring out the tractor and turn the pile, once every three or four days. The bucket bites and lifts, and steam comes billowing out of the heap. It’s my assurance that time is really moving forward, decomposing us all in the process. ~Verlyn Klinkenborg from More Scenes from the Rural Life