A Different Lens . . . Snow to Seed
January 15, 2011
Earlier this week, as we made our late afternoon rounds feeding the goats, llamas, sheep, cows, chickens, peacocks and turkeys, the snow started to fall with a pace that reminded me of the Nor’easter storm that had passed through during Christmas time.
I thought back to a few weeks ago, when I had watched that first Nor’easter rage fast and furious from my bedroom windows: as hours passed, I pored over stacks of seed catalogues (haven’t picked up a Vogue or Vanity Fair in months) and relished the abundance of it all, and I was in seed heaven. I realized at the rate the snow was falling, I might not have access to the farm studio where we store all of our seeds. The following day I had planned to start the laborious process (it took a week) of seed inventory so I could figure out what needed to be ordered for our 2011 master garden list (yet another week). I threw on my coat over my pajamas and ran out into the storm to bring in the seeds. And we are talking boxes! By 3am the snow was falling faster and I was beginning to fear for the animals’ safety. My imagination ran wild, and I was questioning if the snow could fall seven feet and seal them into their sheds.
I could barely sleep that night. The following morning I met a panicked Lisa at the front door. From her house to the farmhouse is usually a seven-minute walk; thirty minutes of a hike through the deep snow had exhausted her. Upon reaching the farm, Lisa B-lined for the tractor to gain quick access to the animals. The engine wouldn’t start, heightening her concern. We could barely get the front door opened to the farmhouse; the dunes of snow were like a desert of sand bearing its weight against it. Lisa handed me a shovel to start digging. I thought, “Dig where?” as I surveyed the endless snowscape before me. Although a newbie here, extra hands are an asset, especially in a crisis, and because work is endless on a farm. Though, as I looked out my heart sank and I felt helpless.
I thought, “Where’s Isaac?” and quickly placed a call. He was already on the tractor moving tons of snow; it was a throttle starter thing that had thrown Lisa for a loop. I thought in case of an emergency, I had to learn to drive the tractor!
But last week, as the second snowstorm of the season started to fall, the animals seemed calm and so was I, now seasoned after experiencing that Christmas snowstorm. It was as if the Nor’easter had broken them in (or rather the storm broke me in!). Their peaceful state influenced mine. The twilight sky reinforced this peace even more as voluminous snow continued to fall from the sky, so thick it muffled the usual forest sounds surrounding the farm, blanketing the earth with its silence.