The Snow Melts and the Mess Is Revealed
From of old there are not lacking things that have attained Oneness
The sky attained Oneness and became clear
The earth attained Oneness and became calm
The fountains attained Oneness and became full
No, we didn’t the predicted blizzard, but we did get a thin blanket of snow over the farm. It was largely melted by the next day, and just sat in a few spots the day after that.
It highlighted the mess.
After a storm, all looks clean. Brand new. Tidy. Innocent.
The snow starts to melt off the old refrigerators first. The metal soaks up the sun and warms quickly, and the farmscape is dotted with old fridges. A few old propane tanks are next. Then a wheelbarrow, followed by a few pieces of old roofing tin, lawnmower parts, fence posts and then some aluminum window frames. Plastic comes next in the periodic table. Five gallon buckets, quart and gallon pots, chicken fencing. Little trucks and rocket ships and battleships. Pieces of bird feeders and blue tarps and greenhouse film and garden hoses.
It all looks worse to fresh eyes. The crap that had blended into the landscape stands out again, and I vow to make the time to get the farm cleaned up. Again. The standard post snow storm resolution.
And here it should be pointed out that the sky is always particularly bright after a storm, and the grass gets an energy boost that causes it to display a brighter shade of green. Thus all the greater is the contrast.
(There are those who have advised me to stop trying. They claim I am fighting entropy. The attitude, however, that led me into thinking I could make a living farming is the same attitude that tells me I can defeat the laws of physics.)
Old potting mix sacks make great garbage bags. I fill one and then another and then another. I run out of potting mix sacks and move on to produce boxes. The mess never ends.
And the mess is measured not only in breadth and width and deepness but also in Time. It never goes away. The farm never gets neater. Twelve years or more I’ve been here, and the place is still a mess. Oh, it’s a different mess than the one I found when I get here, but it’s the same size. So: is it the same mess?
It’s like looking at photographs of the fields from one year to the next. Same field, covered in weeds. Different weeds, a different generation of weeds, but so what? They’re the same weeds. The same mess.
I shall not be daunted. I just remembered there are a few more potting mix sacks behind the packing shed. If they haven’t blown away, and if they aren’t dry rotted, I’ll be able to fit all sorts of stuff inside them.