Tuesday, July 7, 2009


“I have to change my internal dialog,” Dave said to me last night, “from ‘Oh My God! for the last four weeks it’s been raining and we’re not going to get the hay up’ to something more positive like ‘Let’s go canoeing with a friend, it’s a fun thing.’”

Dave and I keep having these conversations over and over. Life is too busy. I am too busy. You are too busy. How do we solve this problem. How do we find more time to relax. We only do the things we love, why are we complaining?

Canoeing was great. The sky was a summer blue, flecked with clouds. Purple iris bloomed in the cattails along the banks of the Otter Tail River. Blue dragonflies drifted from one yellow pond lily to the next, touching down, then drifting on. There were no mosquitoes on the water. A soft wind kept us cool. Cattails rising above our heads obscured the houses along the river. We moved as if in a wilderness, our paddles pushing us along the current. The water was clear; the clamshells on the sand below us seemed within reach. We paced a great Blue Heron; a pair of bald eagles flew buy. We drifted slowly past a pair of loons, close enough to see the brilliant red eyes, the black and white checks, the thin line of white feathers circling their necks. They watched us as we watched them. Then, ten feet away, they tipped their heads and disappeared under the surface.

It was a day out of time, laughing, talking, relaxing with a friend.

When we returned home, Dave looked at the thistles towering above the alfalfa in the field, their buds beginning to swell, ready to bloom. “We need to cut hay before the thistles bloom,” he said. “If I cut the east field on Friday, maybe it will dry while I’m at work and we can begin baling on Wednesday. We’ll have four days to bale. If it doesn’t rain, we’ll be fine.”

My heart sank. I wasn’t ready to begin worrying about rain and hay quite yet.

This morning we walked out into the east field to look at the alfalfa and the thistles. At its best, the alfalfa was a foot high. The thistles were at least six inches taller and were indeed ready to bloom. But there weren’t thistles everywhere.

“We won’t get much hay if we cut this week,” Dave said. “It will be a better crop in a few weeks when the alfalfa is taller. Let’s just cut the thistles by hand, either with the scythe or the weed whacker.”

He took my hand and we walked back down to the house. We would both need to cut thistles to get most of them, but just cutting thistles seemed much more doable to both of us than the idea of beginning baling already. We could drift just awhile longer.

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