The fears of what may come to pass, I cast them all away, Among the clover scented grass, Among the new-mown hayLouise Imogen Guiney
It was a busy week at the farm. The alpaca got sheared, the hay field was cut and baled and the 160 new square bales stacked in the shed. You can tell by Captain Crunch’s grin that he’s pleased about it too. Our barn yard has a pleasant smell. We have a small Case IH utility tractor, 1956 55 HP with a loader that makes quick work of cleaning up the horse stall and the alpaca pen. Alpaca have this interesting trait in that they defecate and urinate in the same place, outside their stall in the barn yard. It makes it very easy to clean things up every other week or so.
There is something immensely satisfying in cutting your own hay field. This is a hay field that is in need of some agronomic attention next year, a bit scant on clover, but nothing a little fertilizer and over seeding can’t cure. It is the kind of hay field that doesn’t lend itself to much else, too rolling in some areas, too wet in others, it fits its purpose as pasture for the horse and hay cut once a year. The hay field is surrounded by huge preserve and wetlands, which makes for great habitat for birds and insects and wildlife. It is the kind of hayfield that is disappearing in my county, sadly to development and new houses. We are hoping to hold on to this little slice during our lifetimes.
When you see pictures of Robert Frost, it’s clear he was a farmer at heart. The poetry of his that I am most attracted to are his postcards in words of his life and observations of nature on the farm. Frost is at his best in my mind when he is simplest in his words. I hope to follow in his foot steps and grow old tending to fruit trees, a chicken or two, some bees and a garden that requires daily attention. It is not surprising that there are many references to pastures in poetry. Seek out a pasture and lay down in it. Watch the clouds go by for a bit quietly, hiding in the grass. And then slowly peek above the grass, look about and see what comes to visit you. Is it any surprise that pastures are an inspiration to writers throughout history?
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside quiet waters. He restores my soul;