The weather was perfect on yesterday’s first day of spring/work day. While it was below freezing in the morning, by mid afternoon the ambient temperature had warmed to the 60s.
It was a fine day—with a gift of maple syrup.
The maples have stopped running sap. Before we know it, what we waited for so long is done. A friend had already pulled his taps. When I picked up three barrels of composted horse manure, he gave me two bottles of the amber liquid which will be doled out for special and when I need a pick-me-up. Considering the work that goes into making maple syrup, it was a generous gift.
I placed the bottles carefully on the shelf with local honey and hot sauce—to wait for an occasion to crack one open. I expect it will sweeten steel cut oatmeal on a cold morning.
There is a lot to think about while hauling manure. Our family, it hopes and aspirations, figure prominently as the scent filled the car. Having cracked the windows, it wasn’t so bad, and truthfully, most of the odor was out of it. Still, it was present—a reminder of the fate of living things. While hauling manure one values what we have in this life for good or for ill.
I saw in social media that the local Community Supported Agriculture project is getting along without me. This will free time for my own garden and yard, which could use the attention. For the moment there is no farm work, and that’s okay.
My work at the warehouse doesn’t start until late morning or afternoon most days. This allows time to write, and a two hour work session in the garage, garden or yard. It is the beginning of a new pattern as I get into the groove of this season’s worklife.
Green grass and flowers poke through the brown leaves and dead cover. Soon it will dominate the landscape. In hours captured from a too-busy day, I’ll make something of the brown spring days before flowers bloom and summer arrives. Bits and pieces of sustaining a life on the Iowa prairie—with essential ingredients of manure and maple syrup.