just a little bit longer

After supper this evening, in the gathering darkness, I hopped on the tractor and went up on the hill to move the chickens. Rain was beginning to fall. I paused for a second on the front porch and pondered borrowing Ira’s big umbrella for my ride, but then thought “nah… it’s just one more thing” and pulled up the hood of my sweatshirt and went on my way.IMGP0517The poor birds. They have been sitting stationary for much, much longer than we like. When we had all of the snow and freezing weather, their coops (“the chicken train“) froze to the ground. And then all of the snow that had fallen on the structures slid off the roofs and piled up in big mounds right at the base of the coops insulating the frozen-to-the-ground-runners that much more. Today was the day to finally get the chicken coops moved to fresh ground before the weather turns nasty again. And as the day went, like most days, it wasn’t until that absolute-critical-last-possible-moment-to-get-something-done-before-it’s-too-late-kind-of-moment. You know, like in the dark and in the rain, but before the snow starts flying again. Like after a filling supper of biscuits and sausage gravy when my belly is full and I would much prefer to lounge on the couch and listen to the rain pitter-patter on the tin roof.

Ah, well. My wet clothes will dry. And I will rest easier knowing that the chickens have been tended.IMGP0513I am harboring secret fantasies that the weather forecast for the coming days is wildly wrong. I’m a little over the cold and the snow. I know I really can’t complain too much compared to so many other folks experiencing much more intensely severe winter weather. But, I chose to live here in southern Kentucky after all. I did not choose to live in, say, Vermont. Or North Dakota. For crying out loud, it is March! It’s time to start seeds, not shovel more snow! We often have numerous crops growing in the gardens by this point in the season, but, but… OK… So maybe I’m complaining just a bit. Sorry about that.

Today was warm. Sixty-ish. A tease. I was in bare feet a good portion of the day. It felt so good. The kids played outside for long stretches and got wet and dirty and tired. Soon the days will be here when we scarcely set foot in the house. The house stays so much cleaner in the summer. The kids do their playing outside and we aren’t hauling so much dirt in the house with the firewood and all of the clothes and the boots that we want to keep warm by the fire. Damn. There I go again with my longing and complaining. Jeez.

The past few days, the Sandhill Cranes have been on the move. Any time I step outside I hear their trilling. Flock after flock after flock circle and bank and try to gain altitude. Sometimes they are so far off that my eyes can’t even find them in the vast sky, but I can hear them. Today, the wind took their place. I didn’t hear nearly as many today. They know what is coming. They know it is time to hunker down just a little bit longer. Really, I don’t think they hunker down, though. They have the gift of flight. They spread those long wings and say “see ya later!” and head to greener pastures. I don’t know, call me jealous?

Surely I can handle just a few more days of winter. Surely another snowstorm isn’t really any big deal. Surely I can wait. Just a little bit longer…IMGP0570

Surely you’ll be here soon, won’t you Spring?

on time

“You cannot step in the same river once.” ~ Chuang Tzu (maybe)time view

The weather has changed again.

After so many days of the children running outside barefoot, talking about Spring.  After a roof and walls went up on the outbuilding so large I think we could almost move into it.  After surveying the damage of the last big freeze and being very grateful to still have some kale.  After days of sun and wind and hawks and owls calling in the big trees.

We woke to the sound of drizzling rain.

The weather bounces like a yoyo.  Or maybe it’s a boomerang.  There’s a chance of snow tonight.  I welcome it, having known through those balmy days that Winter was still underneath it all.

Welcoming the change seems the best option, now and always.

The seasons unroll themselves, cresting at times in wonderful moments of full expression, then dipping back into shadows or shades of the season behind, or to come.

time childrenSort of like children.  We watch them crawl out of their baby fat.  They spring up like weeds, trying on every characteristic in their genetic code as they grow, amazing and challenging and delighting us all at once.  Just when a behavior seems to have arrived to stay, it is gone again.  Like the open toothless smile of an infant, so fleeting.  One of the perks of being a mother, for sure, is to still be able to see the baby inside the person who grows out of it.

And I see myself in them too, as I was or might have been.  I see in them fragments, gestures, flashes of who I am, and have been.  They are not me, and I am not them, but we are present in each other in a way that, though constant, always changes.

It helps remind me of who I might be now, too. (It is all too easy to lose track of myself – a sense of myself – in the care of feeding of a family.)

There, in the old photos, I recognize the baby, the little girl, the young woman.  I remember being her, sometimes.

time high school

What is it that holds together all these people we have been?


Slippery substance, mostly of our own creation, that one.  But there it is, running through the seasons, through the years, stringing clouds, rain, sun, days, nights, laughter, anger, tears and hugs all together in an endless beaded string.

Some days, I have a rough ball of clay to thread onto that string as it passes.  Other days, there is a delicate iridescent pearl.  Both add texture and depth to the un-finishable creation of life.

The big question is – what will we do with our precious time on this drizzly winter day?time shadows