Our Year on the Farm


So Dark We Could Taste It

During the next ten months, my misgivings proved unfounded. We learned quickly that raw milk is indeed measured in pounds, and that selective breeding had produced animals capable of making fifty pounds a day seem inconsequential. Furthermore, we discovered people who not only are peace-loving, but industrious, resourceful, generous, humorous and expert in things agricultural.

The dark and stillness made the alarm clock’s intrusion into our happy dreams sound, in comparison, like a fire whistle in an outhouse.

The farm where we lived was half a mile off the road that led from town to the wrinkled blue ridges standing sentry over the undulating fields of the broad valley below. When we turned the lights out at night (which, as newlyweds, we tended to do rather early), the dark was so intense we could taste it. The accompanying silence, broken only by the occasional lowing of a cow or the hum of a far-away aircraft, gave our nights on the farm an other-worldly quality with which I, as a former suburbanite, was unfamiliar.

We arose each weekday before dawn to get ready for work. The dark and stillness made the alarm clock’s intrusion into our happy dreams sound, in comparison, like a fire whistle in an outhouse. Its shriek would lift us several inches from the mattress, quilts, sheets and all, where we would levitate momentarily while we disentangled ourselves from one another.

Image is from the Sydney Observatory. Next installment coming up in a day or two.

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