The rungs had rattled my mind for months, as I wondered what I might see from the silo’s cusp. One night shy of the full Moon, I climbed up. During the growing season, a homesteader is devoted to the ground: trundling hoses, sinking fence posts, dumping manure, stooping to tend everything. And then, suddenly, there is nothing left to weed or harvest and her focus can drift upward. Twice I’d queried the neighbors for permission to scale their tower of corn silage and twice they’d declined. So, what happened next might just be a lie. At dusk, I crept to the silo with a friend who boosted me to the ladder’s bottom rung. From there, I scrambled up to where the view was generous, expansive. At height, the three nearby farmhouses appeared as diminutive as butter pats. The neighbors’ dairy barn seemed no bigger than a mailbox amid the shorn cornfield with its plaid of tractor ruts. As the neighbors’ lights snapped out, my friend waited gamely by the ladder’s start. Maybe I was the highest living thing in our valley? Just then a Canada goose squawked, correcting me, as it soared over the silo toward the Milky Way.
About this Podcast
Welcome to the monthly Farmer’s Calendar podcast. These essays come from The Old Farmer’s Almanac annual publication. They are recorded by Julia Shipley, the author and poet. She draws from her life raising animals and vegetables on a small farm in Northern Vermont.