Saturday, February 28, 2015


I'm looking out my window watching a bird looking for a place to land. The ground is still mostly white from a rare Deep South snowfall, so he has to try to light on a tall, dry weed in the middle of the spot my father used to plant his garden. Of course, the weed is too weak to hold him so he has to fly away in his continual search for rest.
I live in a house built by my great-grandparents in the 1880s. They fled war in Germany to establish a new life in America. This was their heaven. I don't know if it eventually got old and became drudgery for them. But if they were any kind of human like the rest of us I'm sure it did.
They built a farm and planted this area all around me. That hasn't happened on a large scale in decades, but my dad did still plant a good-sized garden right outside the living room window up until a few years ago.
Now we have an upstart organic farmer trying his hand at it, but so far their has been no harvest.
Today, I live -- and work -- inside the house. I have three jobs, two writing and one editing, that rarely even give me time enough to enjoy this place. I'm sure my great-grandparents would be amazed that one of their progeny was still earning his living on the land -- if not off the land -- with some magical typewriting device which is able to instantly communicate with the entire world.
The end of the agrarian society meant my dad's generation lived on the family property but had to take jobs somewhere else. My dad ran an auto-body shop, putting people's cars back together after somebody's mistake -- or an act of God -- had cracked them up.
He still drove the tractor, though, keeping a garden to feed himself, his friends, and some loyal customer's at the local farmers' market.
I don't even plant a flower. I'm too busy. And I'm just not that interested.
I know how that poor snowbird feels, flying from one spot to another desperately seeking a place of rest and comfort.
There was a day when everything was fresh and clean, just like that newfallen snow. It melts over time, and the ground gets muddy.
Every year life gets a little more complicated. Some of those problems are of our own making, some just the natural course of events.
Spring will come, though. At least it always has.

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 Photo Copyright (c) Greg Richter.