Rain is falling steadily, cascading from the apartment downspouts, and thunder is growling in the distance. The last snow in the woods is melting fast. There are flood alerts and road closings in the valley.
Yesterday afternoon it was dry and I walked all over my land, revisiting it after the six-month winter. I always forget what a depressing shock this can be at this time of year, before anything is green and growing to distract me.
So much work to be done! Work that needs to be done right now and work that will take years to accomplish — even if I had a tractor, hired help, and enough money for lime and seed, which I don’t.
Exactly a year ago this week, Allen was very tired, stumping the back acres with an excavator. He told me that the work was so slow and the project so vast that it was overwhelming: “I can’t look up.” Yesterday I made myself “look up.” Allen was right.
I was glum as I counted the trees down over my perimeter fences (five), noted the torn fence lines and frost-heaved, sagging posts, and stepped over endless rocks, broken logs, and roots in my pitiful “pasture.”
I made mental lists. I know from experience that almost everything is “do-able.” I simply have to take a tip from Allen and focus on one small, manageable area at a time.
Here is the sweep of ground alongside the driveway leading to the barn. (Click to enlarge.)
To make it grassy, I must first pull all the rocks smaller than a Labrador Retriever. This will require a five-foot steel pry bar (what a wonderful idea for Mother’s Day!) and about four hours of picking and tossing small rocks into my truck, then tossing them all out again into the bottom of the old pond bed. Then another hour to haul the bigger rocks away wrapped with a chain. Then another hour or two to shovel and rake the ground smooth. Then seeding, and covering lightly with hay. See? Only a day’s muddy grunt work and that project will be done.
It is only daunting because I see a day’s work everywhere I look. It feels overwhelming, but it is silly to waste time being emotional. I have written to ask D. if he wants to be hired to cut the fallen trees. If not I will ask Mike, and it will have to wait. Everything else I can whittle away slowly.
The first step is always the list.