As the Greenneck emerges from a long, dark cocoon of work, he feels compelled to reflect on a summer that seems to have slipped through his fingers. To be sure, there were accomplishments beyond the mere exchange of words for money: Fence was built, the porch gained a few more windows, and there is now a substantial hole in the Greenneck’s yard awaiting a load of patio stone. The woodshed is full. The meat birds are fattening nicely, and a winter’s worth of hay is stacked in the barn. It’s a cozy list, a reminder that no matter what else happens this winter, none will go without.
But there were little of the activities that once defined the man. The longest bicycle ride of the summer, to date: 2.5-hours. The number of mountain climbed: 0. Times gone swimming: 2.
To be sure, there will be more warm days to come. But already, a chill is in the evening air. Already, the GN has turned his attention fully to the seasons to come. When one chooses to live on and with the land in a climate of changeable seasons, one is always looking forward, preparing for what is to come. In August, that means firewood. The old saying about firewood, that it warms you three times – once when you cut it, twice when you stack it, and thrice when you burn it – can seem an absurd understatement when you’re cutting and stacking on an 80-degree August afternoon.
Not that he’s complaining. At some point along the way, cutting firewood became so compelling to the GN that he chose to forgo a bike ride just to put up another half-cord. At some point along the way, he decided he’d rather spend a Saturday working on a barn, than climbing a mountain.
There are times he regrets these choices; times he yearns for that feeling that only comes of riding hundreds of miles each week, when pedaling a bicycle feels more natural than walking. Such a mark of devotion. But then, so is stacking firewood in August.
Still… anyone wanna go for a ride?