Sunday, November 04, 2012

prairie Sunday

I'm getting terribly spoiled: I take yet another day, granted, a Sunday, but still a day off. Schoolwork can wait until tomorrow.

We wake up to a brisk and gently pretty fall day.

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And if I put off computer work, that frees me to do other work. The kind Ed and I used to do quite regularly: clearing off brush and invasives on and around the Ice Age Trail. Today a handful of volunteers are meeting on the Brooklyn segment -- just fifteen miles south of us. (The drive there is so Wisconsin, so November, so farm-ish!)

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(And speaking of farm-ish, we left Farmer Lee's sister (who is also a farmer) working away at our fields out back. Neither of the sisters is ever willing to accept imperfection. Make better. Always make the soil, the crop, the life just a tad better.)

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Of course, we're late for the meet up at the Ice Age Trail work day and we haven't a clue where they're working. We walk south on the trail…

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…we walk north...

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... and we're about to give up when we come across the (quitter than usual!) crew. We are given a large patch of prairie that has everything from Russian Olive to honeysuckle aggressively taking hold.

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 We work a little, pause for their lunch break with the others…

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…work some more. It's such a beautiful spot! And if I groaned earlier about the dullness of the colors this month, here, I am spellbound by the ribbons of blue and gold.

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And so we work longer than usual. Long enough to come across this fellow, sowing seeds on the prairie.

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And if ever there was a delightful brief encounter, it was exactly this, with him, casting to the wind handfuls of white eiderdown-like seeds. As I take my  photo he tells me -- just get the spelling of my name right -- Mr. Volunteer, with a capital V. A wandering young lad, passing through Wisconsin (and volunteering on the Trail while he's here), moving from one state to the next, thinking of staying, thinking of moving on. For all my inclinations toward movement, toward exploration, I cannot remember ever being this restless.

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Trout. We have trout for dinner. My girl and her husband come over and I get so wrapped up in the delicious pleasure of having them here that I forget to take the photo -- until they are out the door.


Ed and I retreat then into our own spaces even as we sit on the same couch doing so. I write, he reads. We work in silence. It is the way we process the day, the week, our time together.