I have spent a great deal of time out in the garden. I have been trying to develop my little orchard. I have been turning over sod. Pulling dead trees out of the woods. Sliding in mud. Sweating. Sometimes it is hard to be where you are really at, there in the hot, humid still air. Feeling sweat run down between my shoulder blades. Sweat down my forehead, stinging my eyes. I push the shovel in to the wet clay and lift it out only to have the mud adhere. It weighs a ton, or so it feels and I start whacking it against the ground. Eventually a portion of the sticky mass releases it's stubborn hold.
Recently, Mac again watched the movie "True Grit" Not the horrible John Wayne version, but the amazing Jeff Bridges and Matt Damon version. As always the language seeps into my brain. It is melodic to me and disarming. It pulls me out of my own troubles and makes me think of another time. How did they manage? How many days did they stand in the heat, cussing the mud? So tired of bending that they felt that their backs would snap the next moment.
I have a friend named Marion. She thinks I can write. I think she is generous. But sometimes, I slip away in my thoughts and pretend she is right. Today I though of Marion and I thought of other times and the daily language of frontier people and I found myself transfixed by my own burdens in someone else's words. I thought, if I were a frontier woman, what would I be telling my people back home?
This is what I thought......
Our winter was relentless this year. Cutting fire wood was an endless task, or so it seemed. The supply that should have got us to the spring was gone by February's end. Of course the hens no longer lay and the cow is now dry. We look forward to full on spring. The cow has yet to calf and we are suffering with mud season. We did realize a bit of a reprieve last week when we had a hard frost. The mud was frozen underfoot. It causes one to consider that to get to the promised land you have to suffer the journey. The next day the mud was again just mud and it came nigh to pulling one's shoe off.
We have great hopes this spring. We can envision the abundance. One day our spirits soar and other days we are made meek knowing the quantity of hard work that lay before us. We can but continue. There are times of sheer joy as well. Last Sunday we were glad to take part in a potluck after church. It was good to be out amongst folks again. There was food aplenty but the true joy came from the company. Nice to hear voices again! Constance Abernathy shared a solo. She sang "What a Friend we Have in Jesus" Her voice was so clear and sure. There was no one in the congregation who did not have a knot in their throat or a tear in their eye. But there will be no more shared sabbath for us for a time. The horses will be hard worked soon and they will need their sabbath rest just as we will.
I do not mind the toil of the homestead. I know that soon there will be blessings aplenty. I particularly look forward to the fresh milk and to the peas. I find great joy in small pleasures. My only sorrow is in missing your dear sweet faces. To hear your voices again would thrill my heart. As I work I dream of the day when all is done here. I shall be rocking on my porch and hope to see all of you that I love so dearly walking this path to my door. Such gladness there will be!
Until such a day, I remain yours.
A person has to let their minds wonder sometimes. Luckily I haven't been watching any Spike Lee movies, or this could have sounded TOTALLY different. Ha!