Thursday, January 19, 2012

365 Jobs: Weather Report

Friday, January 19, 1990

I'm mucking, disconnecting pipes around an old two-room cabin next to a creek whose water is rushing with recent rain.  After 50 years of settling into the forest floor, it's time to jack up the structure and pour a foundation. 

There's a quick wind.  Clouds scud overhead, framed in blue.  I like it that my job keeps me in touch with the weather.  Literally, in touch.  Today it sends icy prickles into my fingertips. 

Digging out a rusty pipe, I'm careful not to disturb a cheerful Castilleja — Indian Paintbrush — the last wild bloom of the old season.  Or is it the first bloom of the new?

Shutting off the water cock, I pause on hands and knees, peering closely.  From the funky earth, tiny sprouts of sorrel jut to the light — and here come swords of grass, fresh shoots of milkmaid and baby leaves of forget-me-not.  Excuse me but I'm thrilled.  Electrified.  The daily miracles of life on this planet.

At day's end I sit on the tailgate of my truck, pulling off boots. Overhead a vee of birds crosses pink wisps of cloud.  Children’s voices in the dusk beyond the trees.  A dog comes loping through the meadow weeds, tongue lolling, eyes bright, on the scent of something important.  For just a moment our gazes meet; souls touch.  Then he's off at a gallop.

We agree.  Work is hard.  Life is good.

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