I sit in one of the fields at the place where I live at. There is the main field that sits on the bottom half of the eight and a half acres. The owner that I rent a room from owns this acreage that he inherited from his mother. The main field face southeast. Long before I arrived here, it belonged to the their horses that once grazed it. It leads into the southwestern end of the lot. Imagine a sideways L that is facing downward. As if it is laying on it’s stomach. I am sitting on the corner of that L on top of a five gallon white paint bucket. A couple of rows of pine trees, planted long ago, line the right side of my vision nearest me to where the driveway intersects the whole property. On the fence-line of the lot is another line of pine trees planted in rows of three. The Ponderosa Pine trees line three out of four of the fence lines on this property. In the middle of the property are the two houses. One serves as a workshop from the contractor I rent my room from. The other building is the main house just across the driveway. Surrounding both buildings, on the driveway all down the south side of it, and to the east of the end of the driveway are more pine trees of many varieties. I have been told by the owner that the agriculture field extension office supplied most of the trees for free. There has to be up to five hundred trees planted in total on this land. The trees make this place a retreat within itself.
The owner does not believe in invasive farming techniques. He will not mow these fields until all the wildflowers are long gone. He will wait till the grass is brown and the flowers dead before bringing out his tractor and field mowing the acreage clean. It is a drought year so it will not be long until this happens. Until then though, I sit on top of this paint can marveling at all the beauty. The native grasses are all green and growing up quickly. So many varieties of them I do not know any names for. The wildflowers bloom is at its height right now. The Balsam Root has been out now for about a month with its large yellow heads. Purple larkspur , pink phlox, and so many others I do not have names for. The fairy like purple lilies are now gone, but they were a treat to behold has well. It will not be long now before the lupine will grace this land with its violet blue heads. It is really stunning to me to be able to enjoy such untouched simple beauty. The grasses and flowers are now calf deep as I take my daily walk around the perimeter of this property almost every day. As an artist I just marvel every time at what comes up new here to behold.
The sky is just as beautiful as well. So very similar to the Big Sky country I remember from living years ago in Montana. Now I live in eastern Washington on the edge of the Columbia Plateau on the Palouse. This particular evening in mid May, the remnants of yesterdays rainy day are deciding who and who does not get sunlight on their land. The clouds decide to change the plan every fifteen minutes it seems like. The evening sun is setting behind, through, and occasionally peeks out of these wandering clouds. The hundreds of pine trees on this farm echo the movements of the clouds. They hum constantly from the every present breeze. When the sound does come out while hearing the song of the woods, it dazzles the heads of the tall grasses. They light up as do the wildflowers as if they are on fire. It is at that moment the flying insects are revealed. They now become like the fireflies I remember seeing last summer back in Minnesota. But a new set of clouds are suddenly coming towards me, and the light of the flowers, heads of the grasses and flying things are extinguished.
The seagulls screeching overhead seem to know something I need to pay attention to. Just wish I knew their language. A lone meadowlark too says something over and over. Occasionally I hear the crickets chirp in the field as their slow pace. I do not hear the Robins singing their nightly reverie though. I wonder if that is due to the every growing dark grey cloud looming my way with colder temperatures with it. No matter what, the scene to me is breathtaking to behold. And I do hold my breath. I have gotten very good at holding in my own song unlike the birds I hear constantly. Unlike the turkey that just gobbled that I heard, unafraid to say what it needs to say, I have learned to not say much at all anymore. Though occasionally I may actually have the same casual conversations with the roommate, it is not often, if at all that anyone really hears what I desire to say. The days of having a real conversation with someone I love is long gone. Having just moved here barely a month before the pandemic took over my life, I really know no one locally to talk to physically. I do text my friends to the point they must be really tired of me. It is a grateful alternative, but not quite the same as face to face conversations.
I remember there was a time less than four years ago that I could have the heart filled talks with my late husband. He loved hearing me talk to and with him about so many things that both interested us. Like art, architecture , movies, science break throughs, politics and so much more including the normal family stuff that all couples talk about. I so do miss that right now as I spend most of my time in self quarantine during the Covid 19 pandemic. More than anything I miss having him here to witness the changes in nature we so both enjoyed. Instead, I continue to sit on my paint can and let silent tears roll down my cheeks. The cold and darkness continues to grow. It is time to go inside to my safe room from the rain that is about to flow. Finally, just as I reach my room, the Robins and the Turtle Doves begin their evening goodbye songs.