Days on end of wet makes strangers
of the sun, moon, and stars;
Causes the grass in the yard to grow
deeper than dog snow.
A glimpse of moon through breaks of clouds
soothed last nights’ troubled sleep.
A pileated woodpecker brightly punctuated
early morning’s milky sky.
Abundances of lilac and apple blossoms
contrast each other against pale clouds.
Early afternoon shadows finally cast
from reluctant breaks in endless clouds.
Fleeting rainbows remind us of promises
that will never be broken.
Rain can’t get the best of us
Sun, soon come!
Maybe nothing so defines the character of this area as stone. Look up, and you’ll see Elk Mountain – the biggest chunk of it around. Scratch a few inches of soil in the yard to plant a flower, or leave your mower deck a little too low, and you’ll find it.
Not until working with stone, to stack it for a wall, or arrange it for a patio, will one gain a deeper understanding of it’s nature. The uninitiated might think that stone work is monotonous and physically demanding, and they would not be incorrect.
After completing a stone project, one understands that successfully working with simple stone requires deep mental focus: one must keep a mental inventory of available stones, be able to visualize each stone’s shape, how the shape changes if the stone is turned over, how the stone will fit with it’s already placed neighbors.
Stone is intolerant of rationalization: “There is no such thing as a half-finished stone wall – either you have a stone wall, or you have a pile of rocks”.
Stone, with unfeeling ambivalence, accurately acquaints us with our strengths and limitations: how many stone shapes can one keep in mind, how heavy a stone can one lift, how long can one work with stone before rest or food.
A completed patio gives paws and boots a chance to scuff off mud, keeping the house cleaner.
A completed wall defines boundaries: where yard ends and flower beds start, makes “good neighbors”.
A project working simple stone rewards us by revealing it’s nature, and ours.