I went to the field yesterday. This is a seven-acre piece with stream and small forest attached to the farm that I grew up on. For me, the field is a portal to quiet while the world reels and grinds from the callous posturing from juvenile, dangerous egos. I can see the barn through the trees which is both a delight, and a source of tremendous sadness that I don't expect will ever disappear. While I am glad that my father is not around to experience this arrogant, political, humanitarian crumbling, I continue to struggle and wonder about the lead up to his death and the things we all could have done had we been a family that communicated at all. There's that done.
The field itself is a soft landing from difficult, surreal considerations; it is so full of life. As a hay field, it's terrible and needs to be reseeded, but as a meadow, it is astounding. I stood in the middle of it and was amazed at the industry going on at all levels. There was buzzing at ground level through remnant clover and wildflowers seeded by wind and chance over the past decade. My calm started with a Monarch butterfly, one of many, sitting, posing on a disc of Queen Ann's Lace. His orange and black wings remarkable against the white. The late afternoon sun caught him and lit him up as he took off to somewhere else, following what looked to be some drunken flight plan betted out on chance. There were dragon flies with heads tricked out with nature's best flight helmets, and myriad other bugs that were impressive, of names I do not know. There were birds chattering in the forest, and several downs around the field where deer had slept. I know there are deer in the far end of the forest so I did not go there. No need to disturb them in their home.
I worked for a time, clearing bush, sung to by the stream whenever I shut the chainsaw off. I freed one tree from some vines that had it bent almost to the ground, and was delighted when it sprung up to full height like a patient coming out of deep hypnosis: "Hey! How's everybody doing? I like your hat! Uhm, what day is it?" I left when the shadows began to roll out from under the grand spruce trees at the west end, feeling the good kind of tired from physical work.
I shake my head and wonder at all of the lunacy, troubled to have the world tip so badly. I know so many kind people who are frustrated, finding the crevice between the political agenda and the needs of the human heart difficult to straddle. There is nothing for it but to remain passionate and loving, but perhaps with a new intensity, vibrant and robust enough to counteract the startling and divisive meanness . If that should be our demise then so be it, but to give up, withdraw from protecting and caring for this beautiful earth, and the kindness here, well, that's a complicity I can't endure. There is too much at stake here.