The little bit of disappointing rain that now falls (we were insured three days) will not go very far to help the young broccoli seedlings transplanted last week. Nor will it help the soil as we get set to sow spinach for a fall harvest. The drizzle will certainly dampen the spirits of the farmers who must continue to water the fields where summer crops and arugula wait for continued growth.
The rain and clouds that fall and preside also remind the students walking back to school that summer is over. Though heat will return, as the summer season does not officially end until September 21, it feels as if the days of sleeping in late and staying up even later have come and gone. Many students can no longer leisurely read a book, they now face daily deadlines and assignments.
Damp too are the spirits of Cohasset students who hop out of a car or bus to the Osgood school, where Laura Keating used to teach. The fortunate students and colleagues who came to learn from her and know now her have a large void. A bright, kind smile would greet everyone who entered her room. With a ballerina’s grace, she would welcome you to her room and share joy in an activity. She helped lead the 1st graders to the Farm each year, a now annual trip where the students sow seeds, visit the animals and learn first hand about organic growing. As we try and teach about what plants need, Laura taught about what children need. The rain is heavy in many hearts who now miss her.
When there is grief on one hand, one can usually and hopefully find happiness in another. With the sun shining and the promise of rain in the distance, there was a wedding at the Farm. Regular, reliable customers still came to the crowded barnyard to buy tomatoes, long for salad, and purchase other vegetables we have culled from the dry, dry ground. The empty edges of fields were full of cars packed with wedding guests who came from San Francisco, Maine and the Cape to sit in a fallow field beside the woods on white chairs and hear vows, cheers and see family and friends. Weddings happen often and this one on the Farm was a nice bit of farm appreciation. The wedding party and guests could not help but stroll by fields where flowers are in bloom and crops are trudging on, determined to grow and find their way to homes and dining tables.
In one week a lot can happen in our world and on our Farm: loss and new beginning. Where to put the two as we grow on? Maybe the pattern of weather will change and be more inclined to help the fall crops? Perhaps all the matriculated 1st graders from the Osgood and all who knew Ms. Keating will cultivate their memories of her each day. Hopefully the bride and groom will hold that setting sun as a reminder of the good fortune to come.
Let it drizzle, let it pour and let the sun shine every day if it must, for the crops and fruits will keep being tended, both in the ground and for those walking to and from school.
© 2016, Jon Belber. All rights reserved. Friends of Holly Hill Farm