It’s harvest time, so NM and company have been busy in a world where there is no internet, TV, video games, etc. The crop is a good one this year, and mechanical failures — a given challenge in farm life — have been minimal.
The days are long, both literally (darkness arrives about 10:30) and figuratively (we finished the last delivery to the plant about midnight last night).
Bad news arrived early this morning from home: my uncle Nelson finally succumbed to the cancer he’s battled for several years. It is a blessing for his sake, but a loss for the rest of us. I spent quite a bit of my summer time with his family as a child; it was he who taught me to catch crab with a string, chicken parts, and a net.
Picking sweet cherries this morning alone in a distant orchard, I thought about the nature of life, loss, and renewal. Some of the trees were blown down or damaged by an earlier windstorm, but even with major branches gone, the rest of the tree survives and produces. Even a few whole trees blown down, still manage to draw enough from the remaining strands connected to their roots to blossom and bear fruit.
I miss my father-in-law, gone six years now. The very trees I harvested this morning were those he planted and nurtured throughout his life. I cringe that I will be unable to comfort my aunt and cousins this week as they bury Uncle Nelson; the distance is simply too great for me to get there in time. I think of others who struggle to thrive in the face of tremendous loss, but know that, like the trees, they will persevere.
There are more stars here, both due to clearer air and a total lack of light pollution. Sunsets last an hour or more. It’s an excellent place to re-set the compass from time to time, and that’s what is happening in the midst of completing real chores with a real purpose.
I can’t bake a pie on the campfire, but I bet I could make fried pies. It may just be time to try.