16 January

Lulu’s Crossing: Shadow Time. Come Home.

by Jon Katz
Shadow Time

It was just afternoon, and I was restless. I took Red and Fate and we went out and opened the gate to the rear pasture, through Lulu’s crossing and up onto the hill. The donkeys and sheep and pony came rushing through, they were  desperate to graze.The curious winter weather – very cold, then warm – had melted the ice and snow, the ground was hard but the sun very bright and warming.

Red took up his position a ways off from the sheep, close enough to keep an eye on things, not close enough to rattle them. Lulu and Fanny came up right alongside of him and Red, as usual, paid them no mind. I loved the look of the pasture, the barn in the background, Maria’s small studio, the house.

It all seemed timeless to me, I came  here to live as simply and fully and meaningfully as I can. i sat down on the still cold ground and let the sun caress my face, I closed my eyes, I trusted Red to keep everything in order and I sat still. I feel so small here, so insignificant. The troubles of the world are not large here, and I am too humble to be important.

The farm opens me up, quiets me. I have come home.

16 January

Grandfather Chronicles: That Smile.

by Jon Katz

My granddaugter Robin is more than three months old, and Emma sent me the latest photo today. Babies, like puppies, are a blank slate, we can project anything we wish onto them. Dogs have to live with it, but kids get to speak up and tell us we are wrong, or worse.

I do love this kids smile. She is either a Wise Old Soul, or a Hell-Raiser. If she is like her mother, she is willful, very smart, ironic,  and independent. I feel like I can talk to this smile, and respond to it.

Robin seems a bit of a rascal to me, good naturedl but full of mischief. I haven’t seen her for several weeks, and I’m not likely to see her for awhile. Technology does make it easier for me to keep up, but I think it’s too soon for her to remember me.

If I read her eyes right – they are pirate eyes, I think – then we will re-connect easily when we meet. I am contemplating a one-day run down to Brooklyn on the train sometime before Maria goes to India, but it has to fit with Emma’s schedule, which is pretty intense.

More than anything else, Robin’s smile and intense gaze are getting through to me, there is a lot of life in those eyes. People say she looks like me, God help  her, I do not see it at all.

I do wish I could be closer to her, but I am where I ought to be. This farm is my home now, the place where character and community come together for me. Family also, in many ways.

I wish to live life as simply and fully as I can, that is my wish in my work and leisure and love. It keeps me here on my farm.  I will see Robin when I can, and over time, she will reveal  herself to me, and me to her. In the meantime, smiles speak a thousand words.

16 January

Our Thermometer: Frosty Noses

by Jon Katz
Frosty Noses: Our Thermometer

Chloe’s nose is now our most reliable thermometer, I’ve been conducting a scientific study of the temperature when it causes her warm breath to freeze on her whiskers. So far, I’ve determined that this only happens when the temperature falls below 20 degrees, it has to go lower than simple freezing.

Today, the old thermometer read 14 degrees. This told me the temperature had probably fallen lower during the night. More to come.  I am learning all of the time that we don’t need many of the things we think we need.

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