Wednesday, September 03, 2014

Summer Blur

Despite what the calendar says, Autumn has arrived - the searing heat has gone, replaced by a crisp air and shortened days.

I hate it.

The click-over to the next season means that the eight gazillion green tomatoes I have in the garden may not fulfill their destiny of becoming a tomato-and-mayo sandwich or profitable produce for my wallet. It also means that winter is now on the horizon and my departure date draws near; this fills me with more dread than I can convey. When I think about leaving, my stomach aches. If there was a way to freeze a moment in time, I would engage.

At this moment, we sit on the cusp of the harvest frenzy. There has been too much off-and-on rain making fields dangerously muddy and thus, risky for tractors, combines and grain trucks. And come October 1, the sugar beet harvest will commence - no matter what else is going on - and things get kicked up several notches. In October, harvest goes 24/7 and those famously pitch-black North Dakota nights become salted with blazing lights in the fields - truly an incredible sight.

In my observation, a large part of farming is waiting - waiting for rain, waiting for no rain, waiting for temperatures to rise, waiting for temperatures to drop, waiting for wind (to dry fields), waiting for no wind, waiting for parts and waiting in line at the elevator and/or sugar beet piles. But make no mistake, just because farmers are good at waiting doesn't mean they do it without complaint, it's just not part of their nature.

Brent, waiting, and not happy about it
Meanwhile, golden oceans of ripe wheat surround me, making me long for wings. The even beauty of these fields temporarily overtake my concerns with chemicals and GMOs as I watch a graceful crop duster lower down on a field, spray and then swoop up into the wild blue yonder. Long stretches of smiling yellow sunflowers seem to be everywhere lifting their big, eager heads in the day and then, dropping their chins at dusk.

Driving down dirt roads, I'm always tuned to 98.3, CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Company), and inevitably, Julie Nesrellah or Tom Powers will dish up the perfect musical accompaniment - usually the perfect classical piece or an earthy folk tune. My heart soars and I thank God I am here in this magical place so rarely seen. What divine fortune!

My running church
I ran 5.11 miles this morning on my usual glorious path - a snowmobile route lined with a cathedral of cottonwoods - and felt exuberance in every cell of my being. Earlier this morning, I had made a customer delivery of basil and cucumbers to a delightful woman named Joy (of course!) and my gratitude was off the charts.

Tomorrow, my family visits from California and Mississippi and I am beyond excited. They have all been here before but my nephew, Robbie, last visited at age 3 - he is now almost 11. There is so much to show him and though he lives straight down the Central Time Zone on the bayou - literally from one border to the other - I hope he can see what I see - a unique remote magic come to life.


Anonymous said...

Come winter, I will miss Second Chance Ranch! It's been a three-year blur, and I've loved being part of the ride remotely.
Selfishly, though, I can't wait to have you back in CA.
Side note: "dropping their chins at dusk" is a nice turn of a phrase (of course, you have many of those -- turns of phrases, not chins).

Heather Clisby said...

Wish you could have come and seen SCRANCH for yourself but I think I experienced enough for both of us.

Look forward to some urbaneering with you, friend!