Farmer’s Calendar for November 2020

November 1, 2020

When the new woodstove arrived, it sat unevenly until the deliveryman supplied a quarter and a nickel and stacked them under the stove’s short foot. His 30 cents endures, even as the steady stove’s been dark and cold for months, serving as an overbuilt pedestal for vases displaying the summer’s array, from aconite to zinnias. Once, on an excessively sultry day, I caught the cat draped across its soapstone top. Not anymore: Now orange flames flicker within and both the cat and the dog have succumbed to its heat, basking before it, on the floor. I’m keeping the fire alive by feeding it pages of old notebooks full of my expired ideas and crossed out scrawl. Later I’ll shovel these ashes into a wide tin pail, the one I’ll carry out to the snow-fleeced pasture. There, I’ll scatter and dump these soots to sweeten the grasses’ roots, which will bring on lavish clovers later, when the snow is over and the coin-size Sun again burns steady in the sky and finds me lugging buckets of water out to the grazing lambs. Then an idea might spark my mind and I’ll dash back to the desk beside the chilly stove to scribble new lines on a white page.


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