I was out walking Skid, our border collie, last night after the moon had gone down behind Buck Mountain. After a week of much needed rain, the skies were clear, the band of the milky way shining in an arc over my rooftop. To the east, the constellation Orion was just sliding up over Skyline Drive, tilted sideways. The sight brought to mind a favorite poem by Robert Frost, The Star-Splitter, which begins;
You know Orion always comes up sideways.
Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,
And rising on his hands, he looks in on me
Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something
I should have done by daylight, and indeed,
After the ground is frozen, I should have done
Before it froze, and a gust flings a handful
Of waste leaves at my smoky lantern chimney
To make fun of my way of doing things,
Or else fun of Orion's having caught me.
Being a part-time farmer, too much of my work gets done at dusk, or after dark. Sometimes the warm house is so much more inviting than the cold barn that daylight escapes while I linger, changing from coat and tie into mud-spattered denim. Today was blessedly, unseasonably warm and, being a Saturday, chores were done in time to enjoy, rather than race, the setting sun.
Looking the the archives of my weblog, I ran across this entry about a cold, but clear night this April where Frost's poem made another appearance. If you are interested, you can click here and scroll down to Sunday, April 7.