Open windows in April.

We have had an unseasonably warm and dry April here. The forecast shows it about to end and my goal is to get the last of the trees planted before the rain returns. Firstly because several weeks of warm rain is the perfect start for them, and secondly because I would rather not spend hours on my knees in the mud if I can spend them in the dirt and sun. Reorganizing the garage seems a better goal for those days.

Wednesday shows half an inch of rain but this particular five-in-the-morning the sky is clear and the windows still open from the night before. The bread rises as the dog snores illicit on the couch next to me. With none of the kids awake this is her time for my attention. Middle aged she lies by the car while I work on sunny days, but has the sense to come out of the rain when I do not and will head to the house when I labor in a downpour. Yesterday hauling trees up the scarred hill she slept under the truck while I placed the Flowering trees up the scarred hillside.

One of the replanted areas.

Back when I started this I knew the logging would take years to heal, but the sad fact that as the world changes, as this warm, dry April illustrates, the trees need to change too. Scrambling over limbs and rutted tracks I plan where will plant now and where I need to break up compressed from equipment tracks earth when the weather is right. The disturbance has changed the land- wild turkeys are now common visitors and lilies bloom where the blackberries have been cleared, wild hawthorns flower; the little treasures provide beauty-among-the-ruins moments in the day.

From previous plantings I know not to do it all day lest I lose the next day to tending injured knees. Years of joint neglect and repeated injury have caught up with them and I have to remember to call it quits before spending the next day with a limp. I have not learned this lesson quickly or easily. I will age no doubt, but not gracefully.

The garden waits but so does the canoe, and the sunny late afternoon is spent with the youngest two paddling. Because the ephemeral spring sun is valuable for adult and child alike, and time spent in play is not wasted. After the paddle the kids run along the shore and splash on the muddy bank. A moment without worry about the trees, fields, kids or work is fleeting and welcome as the weather. We all need to rest from time to time.

just don’t tell my wife about the dog on the couch.

The woods await, the flowers and fields. another beautiful day as the sun hits the top of the hills west of us. But maybe one more coffee first.


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