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?
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.