Between the Waters

Beginning of the End

By: EarlB, 1:36 AM GMT on March 30, 2009

My time has long been controlled by both natural and non-natural influences.
February-March: firewood, April-May: Greenland work, June-September: garden
and lawn work, etc., etc.

It's almost April, and true to my schedule, I am prepared for a departure to Greenland
to collect more information about the shrinking surface elevations of the ice cap there.
This is my twentieth trip to Greenland and it is still my favorite travel destination
because of it's signature vastness and wildness. This may also be my final trip,
with retirement in my near-ish future (about eleven months from now). Maybe next
year at this time, I will be regretting my decision to change my life's itinerary as I
wave farewell to my associates as they board the airplane for the north.

It has been my choice to forego my Springtime for most of the past eighteen years,
this has become my "natural" schedule, stepping back into winter while flowers bloom,
trees leaf, and the southern earth warms. Maybe my skipping these little pleasures for
so long has made me nostalgic for the earth's Spring process, maybe it's not what I
imagine, perhaps this season is just time passing without me as witness, perhaps next
year i will have the answer, and perhaps just more questions.

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Balance

By: EarlB, 2:29 AM GMT on March 16, 2009

It's March, and if you've read my earlier years' February-March entries, there
is usually at least a reference to my "chore of the month": bringing in firewood
for next year's heating season.

For the past two years, I've had my eye on a large maple tree that has leaned
over the farm field, giving the farmers pause about planting under the tree,
fearing that harvesters wouldn't fit under the low hanging (and large, cab-wrecking)
limbs.

Maples here grow fast and big, this tree was probably (i haven't gotten a look
at a continuous-to-center run of rings) fifty years old, and was thirty-plus inches
in girth two feet from the ground. A slower growing pine of the same size would be
closer to one hundred years old, maybe older.

In writing these "vitae" I realize, that chronicling the life-facts of this tree is
an act of respect, like describing an opponent in a duel. I'm sorry to say that the
tree's overhang was a matter of economics rather than of challenge. Though the felling
was a battle to the finish, removing the impediment was merely a convenience (even
sadder to say).

It is always with doubt that I place saw to plant flesh, I'd much rather cut
up a blow-down, which is just a matter of lessening waste. But, the maple HAD to
come down, and it now waits it's turn as former tree's funeral pyre.

On the "yin" side of my personal ledger, I can say that this same week, two apple
trees and one cherry tree have joined my little ark. I only hope the great
tallyman takes due note of graces as well as sins. Can apples and cherries ever
replace that maple? In six years I'll let you know.

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Winter Storm

By: EarlB, 12:33 AM GMT on March 04, 2009


The snow slipped in
(we watched for it all day long)
Like a secret lover slipping out of town,
All that we saw (when we finally saw)
Were the footprints showing where he
Had been but had not been seen.

The snow slipped in
(a morning surprise for us all)
Leaving us believing in miracles
(that a lover could leave so quietly).
And leaving us humming
"The Tennessee Waltz".

Updated: 2:53 AM GMT on March 05, 2009

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