That February warming feeling
I turn off the chainsaw to rest my arms and free my hot ears from the muffs. The air still rattles with engine noise. Two powered para-gliders, the sharp colour of grapefruit, are edging along the valley, riding the cloudless sky. If I hadn’t looked up I wouldn’t have seen the peregrine. There is now more room among the pines for the old olive trees to breathe. And there is room on the terrace wall to perch. A chicken idles past the ankles of the pony and out of the corral. Ah-Ah. I wander over and check the hay store. I haven’t looked for days. Five eggs. La Petita is dozing, resting one hoof. She is rarely alone, especially at night. The plough work of the wild boar is everywhere. Through the new pools of light in the wood the initial flecks of almond pink. The last of Joe’s giant snowman has gone. No frost for three mornings. A carpenter bee, the first, gently writes its name in the air. My gaze slides to Maggie clearing around and feeding the olives. Water from the spring is running between the broad beans. We must press on with pruning. Maggie has begun in the vineyard, but the olives await and we are too late to finish the almond grove. I must soon nurse Nell the 51 year-old tractor out of hibernation. It is good to harrow when the earth is amenable. The Mother’s Garden year is ticking on. How we love the promises of these awakening days. Perhaps I love February most of all. Now back inside, Martin. Leave the beauty of the woodpile with the robin on top, the happy sense of progress, the sun on our shoulders, and write about this feeling. Then get on with the latest screenplay, maybe checking first if, like the eggs, we have some more orders for fresh olive oil. Oh yes.