Spring Will Be So Easy

The longest mile: the 100 yards from house to barn (click to enlarge

Spring will be so easy…

…walking on grass and bare gravel road between the house and the chicken pen (along the image-left of the barn shielded by the bare spicebush); simply striding across the plank-bridge with confidence and not a sense of impending doom–feeling the reliable grip of wood underfoot without the usual winter veneer of morning ice); from the far end of the plank to pull up the lip of pasture’s edge will not require YakTrax and a stout hiking stick and several slippery attempts. (Coming DOWN is even more fun.)

…driving either way from the house in whichever direction is most convenient rather than always the more gentle, sun-exposed (though still treacherous) eastward exit from our valley, towards Shawsville Pike–even if we want to go west towards town.

…wearing pretty much what we wake up in, and not a single scarf–much less two. On our hardwood floors there will be no great evidence of our having been outdoors: no ice puddles, bits of gravel from the cleat of our boots or scattered ashes tracked in from the path, black dust and wood grit that gives traction but taints every step inside when we forget to take off boots at the threshold.)

We will still measure “eggs per mile” but the miles will not be life-threatening, nose-numbing or make us look like heavily swaddled Michelin Persons.

Spring will be so easy. If such a season can be worked into this year’s meteorological calendar, that is.

Share this with your friends!

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

Articles: 3013


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

  1. Fred;
    Love your photos but I have to comment on the barn photo. Great in B&W but the barn and the trees in the background lean a couple of degrees to the right, just enough to annoy the eye. I noticed this in other photos in the past but this morning I’m a crank.
    Carl Sut

  2. I noticed and corrected in PS yesterday when I first worked with the images; don’t know how unchanged image got posted. Not sure I’ll take time to fix, up to my elbows in alligators. Thanks for noting details, many eyes would not see it. (But of course now it will be apparent and those folks will wonder how they missed it on the first pass.)

  3. Save some of those snow photos to work on later when the heat is on…Maybe after a hot day of weeding the fortress your memories of snow wont be as depressing…Coming from someone who sees snow about once a decade or so.