Photo & Poem: Reluctant


Stay outside until the sun is low, reluctant
to let the day end, tidying halters, raking
loose hay into stalls, dragging my feet. Not
ready. Just that this sweet ordinary day,

this warm season, will soon be carried
off in the wind, gone to seed. Loosening
my grip from what I know will be lost,
one finger at a time. Willing myself to give

permission for change where none is asked
for. Coiling the hose, picking up stray twine.
Sometimes a moist snort, the herd is content
chewing the same hay as the day before.

Anna Blake at Infinity Farm

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Anna Blake

30 thoughts on “Photo & Poem: Reluctant”

  1. Funny how different climates create such different experiences and expectations. Here in Texas, it is the summer that crushes us into the dry, cracked earth, and the promise of fall that allows us to have fantasies of actually being outside all day, free to putter or hang out in the pasture or even start an outdoor project! And the other happy truth is that winter, such as it is, will never hold the threat of the kind of storm that you’ve described in Stable Relation. I can understand your mixed emotions as the seasons change in Colorado!

    • I’m prepping for a clinic tour in Australia where it is spring… they aren’t upside down, I am. Maybe it’s just the passing of time… Thanks Susan.

        • Oh yes. That late summer evening light slipping away, the brief eddy of warm air that makes you realize how chilly the evening is. Our aspens are turning already and the lawn is dotted with dry leaves. But! Fall rides where the forest smells primeval are ahead. And frosty clear mornings. And that first lovely silent snowfall. And the heat of the woodstove. And before you know it the smell of the earth waking up in the spring. But let’s not wish it all away just yet 🙂

  2. My experience echos, Susan’s these days, here in Arizona, but my years of living in Wyoming left snow drifts in my mind. This captures your sentiment so beautifully. The wistful longing for another balmy day chewing the same hay….

  3. Bittersweet… this poem feels like a reflection of life at SO many levels.

    On the practical level, like other comments above, we Texans will be dancing a happy jig when summer loosens her grip and the outdoor fun resumes.

  4. Anna, would you be willing to elaborate more on the comment about Medicare signup kicking you in the heart? Is this about not accepting the symbolic marker of age? I suppose I’ve assumed the old gray mare was okay with who she is. You certainly have inspired me to be more accepting of myself, age and all.

  5. I love my Medicare plus supplemental insurance ! I encourage one and all to embrace it. Much cheaper and much better than the insurance i was buying through the marketplace.

    But I hear you, sometimes it sucks getting older, but love your term “defiant work in progress.”

  6. Here in South Texas the summer can’t give way to Fall soon enough! Sweet relief for everything that lives, grows or goes outside. Good riddance to the long days of the merciless sun, baking anything that dared to revel in its warmth last spring. Sweet relief for all who’s lives are lived to the fullest outside. Bring on the cold winds and rain! Try as they might, always short-lived, they will never be as formidable as the brutal summer days in South Texas. Here the ruling sun relinquishes his throne only for the occasional seasonal mercy.

  7. Season shifting. Spring is here but it has not sprung. Nice post, unwilling to end a lovely day, and a lovely season. That calm time when chores are all done, time to relax, mug of red, and a chat with Edgar long ears.

    Now 3 dry winters in a row. Last decent rain, which was not enough, was the morning we brought the calves up off the creek before dawn. Now the aquifer is low. Here in Aus, we aged pensioners don’t have to worry about health insurance, get what we need as part of our benefit. When I look around, I think I’m doing fairly well. No screws in any foot, how awful! I do have a permanently broken collar bone (horse) but the only way it hampers me is I can no longer swing an axe. I had splitting wood down to a fine art of the Chi and had made a hobby of it. Enjoy your Aussie tour Anna, afraid I’m going to have to miss it. Bring warm gear, it can still get very cold and windy, late blizzards in the high country, always. I’ll be thinking of you.

    • Screws are an improvement over the previous situation; and we had better be working smarter (Chi) at this point in life. Thanks for the weather update, I always know your half of the planet is so different. I’ll bring waterproof layers, thrilled to be traveling farther this trip. I’ll miss you, too, Louise, but I totally understand.

  8. Oh, I so love “Willing myself to give permission for change where none is asked for.”

    I’ve been lucky to live on a farm or ranch for my last thirty years. I realized soon enough change came when it was darn well ready.

    It tricked me plenty of times. And then other years I felt like I dwelled within the change, noticing things I’d never seen, or smelled or felt before.

    Thank you for sharing…so wonderful!


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