Sunday, August 31, 2003

I had not intended to go two weeks between updates, but the end of summer has come quickly. Oh, the days are still hot enough, but the signs are there. The tadpoles in the seep from the pasture spring are gone, replaced by the voices of frogs in the tall grass. Birds fly in crazy connect-the-dot clusters before dropping into the big sycamore, pausing as they congregate for the flight south. I duck under spider silk as I walk into the barn, looking for egg sacks, and any last messages written into webs. (Bambi never made me sentimental about deer, but Charlotte's Web has stayed my hand from many a spider. Foolish, I know . . .) I can't understand how I ever thought that rural life moved slowly. There are days I feel like I am in one of those time lapse nature films, and the projectionist keeps pushing the speed control. We are in that last rush of nature to get business done before winter, and every day looks different in some great or subtle way. Each day, this small piece of ground I pretend to know shows me new possibilities, many good, some bad, almost all unexpected. It brings to mind the truth of what poet-farmer Wendell Berry says in "Travelling at Home":

Even in a country you know by heart
it's hard to go the same way twice.

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