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Essential spillikins – to lift or leave?

The wind drove the rain against the windows last night – I think of the animals & sleep fitfully. In the morning half-light I trudge up to the yard following the day’s order: release the chickens that don’t have the sense or ability to roost in the barn roof, visit the three animals in the calving paddock-
hornless Moira and the two Alices, mother and daughter,
big Billy and eight various in the Apron – the hollow pasture spread taut before the kitchen window,
Angus Halfhorn with Holly,Abby and two wee stotts in the Aspen paddock at the bottom.
Check feed, water & welfare – my wealth of livestock.
Today I notice broken spars lying by the handling crate like spillikins, I walk here every day- how long have they been here – months, years even? They have come from the top of the fence – a few broken off when I scrape the yard and empty the muck over the top. One breaks and then another until an untidy pile is created which stays there as time passes, and I pass – until it almost earns the right to permanence, something grown in and grown over.
It is a small part of the Endless List that I am looking at- the living with tasks undone, things that are walked by, a skill soon learned by any single hander like myself.
I lift the sticks to stack them against the fence – inches from where they were but ordered now, considered- as if that settled something.
Today I must attempt my annual tax computation. Taking broken sticks that mark payments, assets, choices: arranging them in a kind of order.
A veil of water pulses across the face of Creag Dhubh a few hundred yards away obscuring the summit, masking the dark cliffs. I watch the show: here on the farm I am dry. When it passes, the summit is speckled white.

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2 thoughts on “Essential spillikins – to lift or leave?

  1. B says:

    inboxes have an extraordinary way of multiplying if you dont look at them – apparently you can buy ears now that can tap into your brain and they either flop down or upwards depending on how you feel. I would like a pair that just does what is needed so that we all feel perky all the time – purrfect.

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