|Looking east over the dug out|
The first thing I notice is the silence. It's not the silence we think we have when we adjust to the cacophony of city life. This is a quiet with spaces, where I hear a tractor in the distance, the sound of a jet overhead, faint reminders of urban machinery that punctuate the sound of birds, horseflies and the breezes blowing through the poplars looming over the dam-a silence that contains those sounds at the point of simply hearing, before my brain names them, before my mind organizes its thoughts.
We’re at the farm. I’d forgotten how quiet it is out here, how “away” you feel, although you’re only steps from the gravel road and 5 miles from town. Mike, the nearest neighbour, lives a half mile to the east. He rents our fields and his durum wheat is thick, my shoulder height and green, so green, at least until the light changes with the sunset.
|West field, durum wheat|
Morris lies by my feet. He poked around a bit this morning, chewing and digging his way into a patch of mud, after which he had his lunch. Now he’s ready for a nap. He’s out here all the time with Mr. DD, but he has never stayed overnight, nor with me in tow. A creature of habit, he's not sure he approves of my presence, but it does mean more attention-Mick the cat is too old and cranky to make the trip-so he's content, for the moment.
|There's much to investigate.|
It’s been four or five years since I was here. My last visit occurred when we cleared out my mother-in-law’s house in town. It was a painful process; we were grieving and the day did not go well. After that life happened and I never visited. Until today. There are good memories here, more happy ones than sad. The old trailer where we spent most summer weekends with the kids is run down and raccoon-battered, but the fun we had there is not. Memories of long, boring days for the children, nights spent playing cards and visiting by coal oil lamp light, amazing sunsets and terrifyingly beautiful thunderstorms are etched in my heart. Pets are buried here, along with unknown ancestors. Perhaps, someday, I will be, too.
Right now, I’m happy to sit by the camper that has replaced the old house trailer, with Morris napping as Mr. DD works on the old tractor, content to do what he does best, fixing things. I write and read, spin, knit and paint, in the silence, as the wind cascades through the poplars, meadowlarks sing, a handsome garter snake slithers past my feet and the clouds roll on overhead.