Thursday, July 5, 2018

Laughing At Deer Flies

While carrying the fourth round of buckets to the hill tonight at dusk I was temporarily blinded from deer flies and sweat in my eyes. I had been making rounds for only fifteen minutes but my body was drenched. Every five-pound bucket of water weighs in around forty pounds. It's the kind of intense heat and humidity you wade through and I smiled as I shook my head and used my ponytail the same way the horses' use theirs. I have become a master of the face fly swat with the mass of sweaty hair pulled back behind me. Good gods do I love this weather. I love every disgusting drip of it. Winter is too long, and too cold, and expensive and scary. The amount of money you have to have to be comfortable with it is borderline insane. I think of those nights that stretched through the holidays of -20° nights, burst pipes, flooded back rooms, and worrying about just having enough wood for February and I laugh in the face of the heat. I run in it. I pour myself into it. It is a gift of cold rivers and soft grass and fireflies and fast horses. How dare anyone complain after all that frigid gnashing.

It's June and I am already trying to save up for my first cord of firewood. I found out today my truck isn't ready to be picked up yet because it needs another hose for the power steering, another hundred dollars on the bill. Today I earned $75, yesterday $96. Sales are as languid as the summer weather. The only upside is all these repairs to the truck are necessary to pass inspection and being done as I can afford them. I worry all the time about things like this. It's why I write about it so much. But what comforts me is there's about six years of worrying about money and keeping this farm on this blog and you know what? I'm still here. Maybe tomorrow I'll sell a share of pork or two logos. Maybe I'll get an illustration gig. Maybe I'll get an old freelance check in the mail from a magazine piece. Maybe I'll sell some soap. The date seems to track towards success with stubborn persistence. If I can get through a winter like that and laugh at deer flies I'm on the right track.

I have been playing a lot of music, however simple and dusty. My strumstick has been coming with me for evening sits on the hill with Merlin and the Mare. I strum and they pick grass and swish those tails. It's a lovely bit of plucking and mastication. My tin whistle is in my shoulder bag. Sometimes I pull it out by the river when no one is there and play something bright for the water. None of my music is very impressive but it is whole.

When the water is spilled out in every station. When the chickens are in their barn with the door shut and coops secure. When the lambs are sitting in the dark chewing cud and the goats are in the barn... when the hawk's on her perch and the horses are quiet and far aside - that is when I stop. I take a cold shower and slip into a house dress and know I have served this place another day. I feel it up in my singed arms and sore back. It rolls down my spine like a happy charge. The world is warm and forgiving now. There's still time to get firewood. There's still time for all the things. There is until tomorrow, which one day might be forever so I will not complain about the heat.

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