Monday, May 28, 2012

Fireflies are BACK...

...and may I always feel the same leap of joy when they appear.

Tsuneaki Hiramatsu

 Tsuneaki Hiramatsu, time lapse photo of fireflies

Tsuneaki Hiramatsu, time lapse photo of fireflies

Tsuneaki Hiramatsu, time lapse photo of fireflies

Memorial Day

In memory of those who served and died in battle, a poem written by a man who was a poet, an artist, a surgeon and foremost, a soldier. Colonel John McCrae wrote the poem, In Flander Fields after the death of his friend and former student, Alex Helmer, in 1915.

Col McCrae died three years later of acute pneumonia, while commanding a military hospital in Europe.

In Flanders Fields

by Col. John McCrae

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sun Dog

It's been a busy, busy spring and this morning is the first morning I've had in a long time to just sit and breathe. 

Don't get me wrong. My "To Do" list is still insanely long. There are a dozen voice messages that need to be responded to and the impressive pile of mail and papers in my kitchen has become cringe-worthy. Poor Chuck, my blind and arthritic dog, must think he's been abandoned and the kids, to their utter delight, are looking unkempt and kissed by smudges of dirt from my benign neglect. I even found forbidden candy wrappers tucked under the living room pillows which is bold - in the past the candy is usually consumed under a shrub in the yard and the evidence buried. 

See? I've been busy.

One of the fortunes of the morning, or so my friend keeps telling me, is watching the world wake up around you. Although I prefer to do that from the vantage of my bed, my friend is an early riser and sometimes, when feeling especially good in nature, I'll join him for a walk up the dirt road, listening to the birds and the soft bellows of cows. Sometimes, if we are early enough, the gray light will give way to gold as the sun rises above the mountains with names I have yet to discover and if we are truly lucky, a sun dog will appear...just for us, or so I like to think.

So now, watching the gray light turn brighter, I'm savoring the quiet morning and waiting, not impatiently, for the kids to wake up the house with their chatter and laughter. I'll sip my good coffee and  check my messages, organize my lists and consider the best strategy to get everybody to touch soap today. 

Then, I'll type a missive about it all, get up and get on with it.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

When One Door Closes...

I wrote this post about the Hardwick Community Garden and it originally appeared in the Center for an Agricultural Economy's blog. 

When One Door Closes...

With the rains and flooding from Tropical Store Irene on August 28, 2012, we lost the Hardwick Community Garden to the Lamoille River.

It was dispiriting to see all the hard work over the past few years disappear with the topsoil, vegetables and flowers only to be replaced with silt, sand and rocks. Just months before, in January, we had lost 2/3 of the garden first to flooding from an ice jam, a regular occurance in that part of the river, and then to the damage caused by the heavy machinery needed to break the jam and save the town from flooding. 

The following April, with the help of students from Sterling College and our dedicated group of gardeners, we moved stone and debris, re-tilled, raked in new compost, fixed beds and repaired the damage done. We were hopeful and excited as we planned our workshops, reached out to new gardeners and the local school who made up new gardens and got on with the business of community gardening. We had no idea what the end of summer and the height of harvest would bring - not just to us, but to the entire State of Vermont as people everywhere dealt with the loss of their businesses, homes, farms and livliehood in the wake of the massive flood waters that forever changed the topography of our State.

To say our gardeners and our staff were discouraged, is an understatement. With sadness and even some frustration, we made the decision to close the Community Garden. 

Read the rest here...