March is usually a miserable prick of a month in Missouri. The wind! It never ends. It presses against the windows with the fists of invisible mobs and snaps tree limbs and blows loose garbage all over the property, keeping it ever out of reach. Makes me want to stick my head in an oven.
When the wind really starts getting to me, the only thing that soothes my nerves, oddly, is just getting out and walking in defiance against it.
We have trails all over the farm. I don’t have a set path that I take every time. Sometimes I go up the ridge behind the house and walk under the power lines, or I make a point to walk to every pond and survey deer tracks.
Yesterday morning, I cut across the large open field that faces the house. I can see it from where I sit right now.
The ground is loose and rocky here.
The field is actually filled with cows that usually ignore people, but when I walk with Pax, she makes them nervous and they keep a wide berth around us.
The south end of the field has a high pond that drains slowly, slowly, in a trickle that cuts across its lowest point. Most of the year, it ducks underground and then re-emerges about a quarter of a mile from the creek. I was surprised to see on this walk that the January floods had exposed most of its path. Right in the center of the field, an enormous crack parted the ground like a big rocky scab. It’s about a five foot drop, deep enough to swallow me, though the rocky ground below seems solid, if not stubborn and cruel.
At the height of summer, this whole country is so smooth and gentle and kind. We’re at the cusp of that transformation again. The grass is greening. Small buds are appearing on the low bushes. Even the quality of sunlight itself is shifting from the chilly gaze of winter to something warmer and softer. In time, all of this country’s roughness–its scars and wrinkles and calluses–will be masked by the fervor of spring. So it is. Under every world lies another, though no less real or true.