Monday, August 1, 2011

Have it be for this

It truly isnt my intention to complain. More just to document. Something I can look back on for a better understanding of some situation somewhere far off into the future. A place I can’t see now, but a place where and when I might feel it necessary to look back on the past. Maybe I’ll need reassurance, maybe I’ll learn things do get better or pray not, things get worse. Documenting a day or a time might not mean much now, writing about the ups and downs, the triumphs and struggles, the tears, the joy, the rich times and poor ones. I got to know they happened. Got to have some proof. Some words, some understanding.

I have memories and hundreds of photographs of a time before this one, the time before I called myself a farmer with some seriousness in the tone and meaning. I have one photograph I took on the beach of Saint Vito Lo Capo in Sicily. It was of my sun tanned feet and the bright clear blue Tyrrhenian Sea behind them. It’s my favorite photograph of myself. My feet looked so relaxed so comfortable and so unaware that these many trips to Sicily would ever come to an end. I’m sure it has something to do with being young and having limited knowledge in the inevitability of change. Bless my little heart.

But just like then and just like now my life continues to change, evolve and transform, and I feel like I’ve come a long way with settling into that. And the older I get the more pleased I am to put some distance between the person I was and the person I am now, not having one iota of a clue of what lay ahead for the person I will become. I have some blind non affiliated faith that I’ll be okay. But I do have to admit when I wake up at times between the hours of two and four A.M. it all comes up for me to question.

Truth be told, I’m struggling a little right now. I’m trying to keep my chin up and I’m quite pleased with the job I’ve been doing but I’m losing a chicken a day to the relentless blistering heat. The animals are suffering the most discomfort and I try what I can to help. No casualties with sheep or goats thankfully but I have to say this heat is taking its toll on every creature four and two legged, round and oval heads alike on this farm. We find ways to cope and to keep a good attitude and look to the future, that’s the best remedy. There are little things that give me great pleasure like my solar shower and waking up each morning to the sounds of my heart beating in perfect sync with the natural world.

These nonstop days of 100+ degrees is reaching desperate levels. I’ve been told it’s been over 30 days of this. I try to hide my discomfort, mostly for myself, denial I guess. But getting things accomplished after 10 am takes everything I got. Kathleen my intern seems to really be taking it in stride but I wonder sometimes if she doesn’t have her dark moments too, when she just wants to give up and throw in the hoe. We don’t talk about these things. Cant. You’d understand. It’s just fuel to the flames. Stay quite about it, head down make some jokes, spray your face and head off with the hose. Let it run a while till it’s cold and go back to work. Come back in a few minutes and do it again.

The other day I sat on the floor of my office escaping the heat, thumbing through seven years of journals. With some comfort I learned that after August 15th temps start dropping dramatically, something to look forward to. But work needs to be done now. Important work. Fall planting, so I have produce in October and November. Broccoli, carrots, beets, fall tomato plants all need to be cared for now, not then, now.

Last Sunday night we got a ½ inch we think of rain, I lay in bed listening to it with a huge grin on my face, not giving a rats ass that the windows in my truck were wine open. When I first heard the patter on the roof of the yurt I was worried, worried it would stop, but after sometime my worry turned to exhilaration and excitement and Monday morning Kathleen and I spent the day on the tractor preparing the fall/winter beds. It was just what we needed. It was wonderfully cool in the morning and by late afternoon it was back to sweltering but we were fine ‘cause we were living in the future. We were plowing that field for October and we saw ourselves in it picking and cultivating in October until first hard freeze.

I have been offered some relief at times, when the wind hits me just right I get Goosebumps on my arms, breasts and stomach. I feel a deep chill. For a spit second I have to check in make sure it’s not a heat related illness, but mostly it’s just a split second of relief, when a breeze be it hot hits my damp sweat drenched body I’m cooled. But it aint enough, I want more. I want take a swim in the Mediterranean and eat gelato and go to a nice restaurant at ten O’clock at night. I want to sip limoncello under the starts with hot salty sea air in my nose. Sometimes I want this. Sometimes. Not all the time, not most the time not hardly ever, jus’ sometimes.

The sun goes down and I come back to life. We busy ourselves with preparing dinner, the night sounds blend in with the guitar strums. A cool shower under the stars before we crawl under the sheet. A fan gently blows on us and the temperature is warm but bearable and sleep is thick and deep, things don’t seem so bad.

2 comments: said...

And we were just happy making fresh butter tonight.

nanc said...

L, I feel you, right there with you. I'm on the verge of shutting down for this season--taking most of the to-be-butcher lambs the sale barn at El Reno. There's just not enough grass to go around, and I can't find a bale of alfalfa available for sale in the entire state. A hurricane hitting the TX/LA coast next week could change everything in a heartbeat, but I can't wait for that. Time to focus on the breeding stock and hope for a change in the weather to make this winter more bearable. Hang in there.