Sunday, October 16, 2011

We fall down, we get up......

Well, we do. Or at least we always have so far. But not if you are a leaf. And the leaves are falling. Down, for the most part. Except for the occasional passing corn leaf. The windy days of late have heralded the coming of the harvest season now in full swing. The corn stalks that seemed to turn white over night this year have shed their leaves, and now stand naked except for the sagging heavy ears, shivering in the foggy chill or the morning. The leaves blanket the ground now. Except for now and then in the afternoon breeze, when, dried by the weakening sun, a current picks a stray leaf and hurls it toward an unknown foe. I see them pass my window, sometimes arrow straight, sometimes curling and whirling, tumbling in the driving wind. And later I retrieve them from the shrubs and fence, limp and heavy with dew once again come morning. And time marks off yet another day, and week, and month.

We have begun the preparations. The garden is done, the harvest sorted, stacked, and stored. A good size stack of wood now darkens part of the view out my window. Chimney checked? Check. The wagon is filled with corn, and the hay bales stand in covered rows like giant sausages.
I looked up this morning, and it was October. 16th. (sigh). The almost-too-warm days are over. The 'F' word has been heard in the forecast. (freeze). But that's ok. I guess. The second blanket was pulled up without hesitation last night, and savored.

Don even took some 'vacation'. Yeah sure. Last year we actually went somewhere. This year, it was back to a working vacation. But we did get some things done, including renting a bobcat, and an attempt to clean the barn. It was only partially successful, but whats done is done. Since the grass is still growing and the crops in the field, the excavations got piled for the time being.

The lambs had a great time playing atop 'Mt. Sheepoopee' while it was there. But it was clear it was not going to last, so it got moved to the other pile. Sorry, lambs.
The whole mess will hopefully be spread on the garden, pasture, and fields before winter really sets in. (Sorry about the evil eyes. I'm blaming the lighting.)

Meanwhile, the sure sign of the season have been spotted. My mate and partner is usually quiet, often dozing in his chair. Recently however, he has been overtaken by spurts of thoughts and inspirations. His clipboard is at hand, and often I notice him flipping between pages, and making notes in margins. Why? You may wonder, as did I.

Of course - its breeding season. And one mark of a true shepherd is the careful selection of pairings of the flock. The amateur little realizes the complexity of the task. There is much to consider. Body type, condition, color, lineage, fleece and more. There must be planning before procreation.

And the sun sets sooooo much earlier these days. But its still kind of nice watching it.

And the last rose of summer literally blooms by the back gate.

But all is well. The promises of spring are hidden in the muffled shuffle of leaves underfoot, but if you pause and listen, you can hear them. The thoughts of a warm fire and wool sweaters, the gentle click of knitting needles and snow falling on yet green grass may materialize sooner than we think. But bring it on. Seasons change, and so must we. I'm up for a long winters nap. Meanwhile, I can still smell the roses.

And if by chance like the leaves we fall, we'll help each other up.

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