April 1, 2010
Gifts sometimes fall out of the sky. Maybe fall is the wrong word. The temperature fell last night. The sky was clear and open.
A gift of raising animals and hay is that frost protection is not on my list of “to do’s.” Yesterday a visitor came to the farm who farms ten acres of cherries. As I woke this morning and heard wind machines in the valley warding off frost, I thought of her. She spoke about how the last week has been one of the early early morning work of keeping trees healthy in this time of freezing mornings. As I looked at eighteen degrees on the thermometer I realized she and her husband had been up hours ago caring for their trees. The gift I am thinking of though is not about not working frost protection this morning.
The cold did call me outside around 5:30 to take care of a few water items. There was no need for a flashlight or any other light to do the needed work. The horizon had that deep blue tint that occurs when the black of night gives itself to the early morning. The moon, not fully full but rather a little out of round, combined with the lightening horizon gave plenty of light to work by. Fifteen minutes, I am done and heading back to the house. It is then I had the opportunity to take a moment and contemplate the moon and horizon.
Looking around I noticed most of the night stars could no longer be seen. Mount Pahto to the west glared back with white slopes. Toppenish ridge to the south spread arms as if soaking in the cool moonshine would give strength and life to the day. A cold morning moment makes one want to selfishly keep it to themselves and at the same time yell out and invite others into a conversation with sky and land. I like to think, though, yelling isn’t really necessary, for there must be others living in their orchards this morning, caring to the life of their trees, who had a moment to notice the wellspring of being that lies between sky and ground, light and dark, cold and life. I hope so, for that is a gift.