16 June 2009
Literary Skiers 2a
Nowadays the meadow isn't considered worth haying. Machinery is cost-prohibitive in relation to annual yield. No one will winter here anymore. We are a different breed of Westerners. Snow always looks good to skiers.
Someone from Denver bought Lyle's place for the fishing, a summer retreat. Without irrigation much of the meadow has regressed to native sidehill pasture and sage. The rest is frumpy-looking, matted under the yellow thatch of last year's uncut growth. Along the east fence, where Pat and Lyle used to bet on whether or not the snowdrift would last till the Fourth of July, short lengths of snowbroken wire sink into the earth, sink down with the roots.
Underneath its feral pelt, the meadow is still the meadow, entire, lying in wait for winter. Wildflowers still joy in its swells and hollows. And do the ruined, sage-choked irrigation ditches feel sorry for their intricately pattered uselessness?
--James Galvin, from The Meadow, 1992