Lighter Days


Summer is easy.

After months of trying to strike a truce with the weather, summer shows up like a long-lost friend, ready to gab, share a few belly laughs, and guzzle sangria.

I think to myself, “aha, winter! I was right. It’s not me, it’s you.”

Grouchy curmudgeon.

But why dwell on it, when there’s so much to do?

There are weeds to pull, and berries to pick, and endless brown bag lunches to pack for the fellas, who take their meals in their tractors, out in the fields, while haying.

There are hundreds of tiny greenhouse babies, ready to graduate to freshly fluffed flower beds.

There are holes to dig, rocks to move, and plenty of piles to rake.

It’s work that doesn’t feel like it.

My knees and nails are filthy. My mind is calm. My clothes fit better because I’m getting things done, not just sweating for the sake of it. The pulleys and conveyor belts and move-in-place devices at the gym suddenly strike me as sort of laughable.

This same body that fights with the alarm clock all winter long bounds out of bed of its own accord, when light fills the bedroom at dawn.

Hours fly by, under sunny blue skies, as I happily plod along, hoe in hand. (Look out earth worms, I’m not slowing down for anybody.)

In the evenings, sticky and soiled, we jump in the pick-up and head to the lake. There’s a bar of soap on the dock to help wash the dirt off.

Not that I mind it.

This time of year, I am lighter in every way.

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