by Hardscrabble Farmer
The Burning Platform
I began writing the following piece several weeks ago and never finished more than a few sentences at a clip before becoming too tired to write another word. The work on the farm is difficult, it is labor intensive and it brings with it a deep, satisfied exhaustion that is hard to explain. None of it compares to the sugaring season when we make maple syrup from the collected sap of over a thousand mature maples each year. It begins in the deepest part of Winter when the snow pack can be three foot deep or more, on snowshoes across a boulder strewn landscape that rises almost a thousand feet from bottom to top and it ends with the budding of the maples in early Spring with the final cleanup of the gear and equipment only days before the first seeds are sown. I apologize for the erratic style of the chronicle and for the often technical nature of the piece, but I thought it stood on its own despite these flaws and I wanted to present it as I wrote it, rough and unpolished.