The photo is from 1978. My son, his truck. Behind him, my truck.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weather Report

Friday, January 19, 1990

I'm mucking, disconnecting pipes around an old two-room cabin next to a creek whose water is rushing with recent rain.  After 50 years of settling into the forest floor, it's time to jack up the structure and pour a foundation. 

There's a quick wind.  Clouds scud overhead, framed in blue.  I like it that my job keeps me in touch with the weather.  Literally, in touch.  Today it sends icy prickles into my fingertips. 

Digging out a rusty pipe, I'm careful not to disturb a cheerful Castilleja — Indian Paintbrush — the last wild bloom of the old season.  Or is it the first bloom of the new?

Shutting off the water cock, I pause on hands and knees, peering closely.  From the funky earth, tiny sprouts of sorrel jut to the light — and here come swords of grass, fresh shoots of milkmaid and baby leaves of forget-me-not.  Excuse me but I'm thrilled.  Electrified.  The daily miracles of life on this planet.

At day's end I sit on the tailgate of my truck, pulling off boots. Overhead a vee of birds crosses pink wisps of cloud.  Children’s voices in the dusk beyond the trees.  A dog comes loping through the meadow weeds, tongue lolling, eyes bright, on the scent of something important.  For just a moment our gazes meet; souls touch.  Then he's off at a gallop.

We agree.  Work is hard.  Life is good.

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