Have you ever noticed, in life, no matter where you are, if you are paying attention, you will come around a corner, look up from a book, exit a building, walk out of the woods and you'll see something breathtaking be it small or large, or close up or far away. Camels Hump, Vermont, late afternoon, Oct. 26, while stopping by the farm to get a gallon of raw milk ...
There's a moment in Vermont where fall bleeds into winter, more like a gash than a slow wound, a time when the leaves have shed, the perpetual gray sky has moved in and the chill really means it. I have difficulty adjusting. Looking out the window shortly after dawn, I see, to my horror, that it is snowing. My horror centers on the uncovered lettuce and chard and parsley and basil. Old sheets collected, I fly out of the house to cover them and realize, oh silly me, I am barefoot.
An unlikely spot for teen meltdown: A county fair oxen pull.
She was mayber 16 with a slender build, the young girl led her oxen team out into the ring, her father behind holding hitching rope.
She was struggling -- first from nervousness, then from embarrassment -- to get the team to mind. She swatted, yelled, pushed; the oxen grew more annoyed. Two unsuccessful pulls on the sled, loaded with about 1500 pounds. The oxen, the girl, grew more frenetic.
Suddenly, she yelled: "I KNOW, DAD."
The 3rd time, they pulled the distance. It was still a light load.
Outside the ring, the father said softly: "You have to get them to want to pull."
At the next round, she withdrew.