Today, my son and I seeded (and put weed control) over our entire pasture. Everyplace in Georgia, including our land, is green and plush, except the pasture where our horses have trudged it all down. The area clearly requires some help to perk back up. We have no idea what we are doing, but a good college try can’t hurt. I’m told that one should seed the field this month with Fescue grass. So that’s what we did. A touch of rain would make me feel confident the effort might take… showers are on the agenda according to the weatherman, but who trusts him? It is lovely out tonight. Figures.
For two hours I pulled dead weeds out of the creek too. I ruined my shoes, then put on my muck boots, then ruined my work gloves, then tossed them aside and went bare handed. I looked so dirty you’d swear I’d been dragged behind a horse a mile or two. Dozens of huge piles of debris are lining the creek bed (but I was too tired to throw it over the fence today.) The water is running clear and unencumbered now. Love that sound. I threw a load of sticks that have blown onto the pasture during storms over the fence then I went to bury the placenta and sac from our horse birth, and noticed it was gone. Guess scavengers had it for lunch this week. At least now, the pasture is clear – ready for the grass to grow, should our seeds decide to honor us by taking root.
Peppy, a horse far too intelligent for his own good, picked up a 50-pound bag of seed and swung it around in his mouth, trying to open it. He thought it might be something tasty and my yelling didn’t seem to discourage him from his mischief. I’d planned to ride today, but the work was more involved than expected. I should have gone for a ride first. That’s what you get for attending to responsibilities before indulging your desires. Hate when I do that…. and I do that far too often to feel anything close to the free spirit I pretend to be.
I feel like a little house on the prairie work hand. Not complaining – but I’m tired. Really tired. Am I old? Out of shape? Citified and unable to keep up with the country folks? This exhaustion is worse than any run, workout, teaching or other work that leaves your muscles and ligaments feeling abused beyond capacity. The outdoor tasks are nice for the spirit, but everywhere else I’m aching. Even my fingers are tired, which shows my commitment to this blog, because typing takes more energy then I should be able to muster in this state. Yet, I’m here.
Nevertheless, for all that the work was backbreaking, the company was nice. My son kept clowning around in the pasture, making jokes and demonstrating his profound, enduring happiness with our new life. The songs of birds and the movement of butterflies surrounded us. And Donkey kept checking in (llama is way too regal and aloof to care much about underlings like us). April raced around on her new steady legs playing tag with us. We are supposed to handle her lots, but she prefers staying a foot beyond our reach, never further, just enough to keep us coming at her but never making contact. I continue to look over the field, past the trees, expecting our dog, Sammy, to come bounding through the underbrush wagging his tail sheepishly because he knows his walk-about worried us. I fear that is an image that may always be in my head, but will never materialize. Miss him dreadfully.
Last but not least, since planting was the theme of the day, I finally spread my 5 lb bag of wildflower mix along the drive towards the house. What was I saving it for? I’ve had it since fall and I am starting to feel like the woman in the story “Deep Seeded” that I wrote about a seed collector. I am praying a colorful array of bountiful blooms will appear next month. If not, I can at least know I made an effort to give these seeds their moment in the sun, rather than remain horded away in a bag in my kitchen cupboard. Everybody deserves a chance to grow, to see what true potential lurks within the plain outer shell that the world takes at face value. I don’t know what kinds of flowers may spring up from those plain, dull seeds, but I’m guessing they’ll be diverse and unique, given their freedom to scatter with the wind and dig in where they feel inclined. That is far more exciting than a pre-planned, controlled flowerbed any day.
I saw a lovely cup at the Apple Orchid today. A slogan on it read, “It is important to take time to stop and smell the flowers, but it is just as important you take the time to plant some as well.”
Ha. No kidding. Well, today, I did my part.
And like the little red hen, today I felt like saying, “And who will help me plant the grass?”
“Not I,” said the donkey.
“Not I,” said the llama.
“Not I,” said the horse.
“I will,” said the son . . . and together they worked in the field.
And in the summer, she said, “Now who will help me enjoy the grass?”
“I will,” said the donkey.
“I will,” said the llama.
“I will,” said the horse.
“Only the son is allowed,” said the little red hen. “For he alone helped me develop the field.” And together they rolled in the soft grass, enjoying the sweet, rich grass under their toes while the animals looked on from the muddy area behind the fence, ashamed at the fact that they did not contribute to the work required to make such a wonderful pasture.
(If you don’t get that, you are a dismal failure in the childhood fairytale department.)
I am mad at Ron. (www.wheresronnow.com) He’s a fellow walking the Appalachian Trail. He began in our area just a short while ago and I follow his progress. I sent 20.00 to his foundation, the Russell Home for Atypical Children. It is nice that this guy not only is taking the time to learn about nature and himself, but does it simultaneously drudging up funds for a cause. He has a blog, but dang if he hasn’t written anything for a few days. The fact that it is hard to get internet in the wilderness is no excuse for silence when you have a following, I’m thinking.
I am all about hiking now. I found out there are five waterfalls in our area, and I have info on the hikes to see all of them. I’m planning to drag my college age daughter to every one when she gets here in ten days.( I shouldn’t write that. She is a devoted blog reader, and now, she has time to make up an excuse to get out of it. A stubbed toe at the airport, perhaps?) Mark and I planned to visit the biggest waterfall this week with the kids, but it rained on the afternoon we were going, so we put the adventure off. Played pool instead.
The longest swinging wooden bridge this side of the Mississippi is also nearby. But you can only get to see it on foot, and it’s a thirteen-mile hike in and thirteen miles out. I need to do some trial runs to other areas first to determine if we can do thirteen miles in a day. Might be an overnight thing, but I’m game. I’ll play Davey Crocket and give it a try, just to say I did. The pictures of this bridge are amazing, natural, slightly dangerous looking, and reminiscent of a Tarzan movie. I’m guessing the real thing is even more impressive.
A bear ate a six year old this week out here. Really. It is only the second bear attack in about 30 years, so bear encounters are not considered a real danger in the area. Sad story though. I think, if I encountered a bear, I’d start dancing. For years I’ve been doing all these dances with three year olds to bear songs with little stuffed, plush bears in tutus. I associate bears with dancing. Doesn’t make sense, I just do. We have a terrific picture of dancing bears for the cabin too. So, if a bear decides to walk beside me when I go visit the swinging bridge, I’ll pirouette and invite him to join me. It just would seem natural.
It’s a plan.
I need to close this blog. I must write an annotation on the book Beloved. Wow – that was powerful. Affected me mightily, and I have no doubt it will influence my novel, Touched by Fate, when I get back to it. Love when I read something that sets my mind on fire. I’m reading a surreal book now (tired sigh) and then I will read my next mentor’s book, The Good Negress. Love reading books my teacher’s have written, because it helps me know them better which reinforces our relationship.
I will have a short break between terms soon (in late May and June) and I plan to read On The Road by Jack Kerouac, a renown creative non-fiction, beatnik culture, travel book written in the 50’s, which I ordered today, and some down home, erotic smut which I ordered last month. Gotta keep in balance, don’t ya know. Can’t have my brain overloaded with too much nourishing material requiring thought– need some junk to oil the wheels and dilute the friction in my head.
I have completed my first year of school. Can you believe it? I’m in the home stretch now, an upper classman focused on her thesis. Smarter. Inspired. But too tired to do anything with the skills I’ve learned. Ha. That’s my life. Lots of running but never towards a finish line.
Wish it would rain. I wouldn’t be so tired if it would only rain.
I wonder if my seeds are sinking into the earth, or in some bird’s belly.
I need to stop thinking so much.