Thursday night I cleared the whole place of leaves and mowed for the last time. The temperatures started dropping and In the early darkness Friday morning the first snow of the season came to Bittersweet Farm. It seemed festive. Friday Dewey Schramm (a very handy man from Bethel) came over and helped me prep the tractor for the turning season. (OK, I watched him prep the tractor). We removed the mowing deck and I attached the snow plow. We are ready for snow but wouldn’t complain if we had a few more sunny warmer days before winter sets in.
A November Evening
What does it take to bring you joy? What awakes your soul to God and fills you with praise? What stirs your heart to talk to God? For me sometimes all it takes is some time out in the yard with a hand rake on a November evening.
On my birthday Hope, Hannah and Dale bought me a beautiful plaid, Carhart shirt jacket. The body of the shirt is lined with fleece. The arms are quilt-lined. The shirt reminds me of the kind of jackets and warm shirts that hung on pegs on my grandfather’s place in Licking Country, Ohio years ago.
This evening I put on a pair of jeans, a tee-shirt and my new shirt-jacket and went outside to enjoy the last hour of daylight on Bittersweet Farm. The sun shone today and the evening was peaceful. Deer grazed in the north field as they do every night year round but this evening there were a dozen gray Sandhill Cranes out in the brown corn stubble. The White Tails flagged away into the fence row and the Cranes fled over into the far north field calling as they flew away. Bits of snow clung to the stones at the base of the trees and a few brown and rust oak leaves blew along the ground.
For the last ten years of my life I had to drive for miles to reach a “metropark” to satisfy my longing to be outdoors alone in a quiet place with God. Now I just put on a jacket and walk out the door.
I took out a hand rake to tidy up a little and enjoy the sounds of a fading autumn Lord’s Day. I find myself looking for excuses to be out in the yard and putter around the carriage house. Tonight the air was fresh. The fragrance of woodsmoke lingered on the evening. A few geese called winging their way strait south over the farm.
I hope the time never comes when the sight and sound of geese calling to each other overhead doesn’t quicken my heartbeat and call to mind memories that warm me to the soul like a thick shirt jacket on an autumn evening.
November 11, 2018