in the setting sun

I've been getting my hands dirty here, helping with some early planting and even some weeding already. The physical work is harder than I'm used to. But I've been trying not to work so hard or with such fixation that I'm not aware of what's going on around me.

Like the tree frogs chirping in the woods at the edge of the field. Or the vultures silently circling high above.

Yesterday, we were setting up irrigation piping for the new strawberry plants we just put in. The field was a dry gray expanse, the plants tiny and indistinguishable from the dirt. So we brought out the thirty-foot pipes, hooked them up without too much problem, and soon water was flying. But puddles began to form where some pipe connections were leaking, and some of the sprinklers didn't work right. So we began the slow, frustrating task of fixing seals and adjusting sprinklers and replacing pipes. Some leaks were persistant. And each time we separated the pipes more water gushed out, making mud. Lots of it. The process dragged on and on, and we began to get tired and hungry for dinner.

But when we turned on the water again the last time, I saw something beautiful. In the slanting rays of the low afternoon sun, as the fine spray slowly darkened the soil, I saw them. Where before there had seemed to be only an expanse of dirt, now long rows of tiny green leaves glistened.

I stood there for several minutes and enjoyed the sight.