Not like this.
So type away you the few and proud, app jockeys; out here some of us are in the fields. Yesterday was a 90+ degrees and we'd be moving bales of hay with our bare hands. Most of us volunteers are in long pants, long sleeves, sunglasses and hats. We get rides out to the field and back on one of the big hay wagons and its the closest I ever felt to being a romantic version of a train-jumping hobo woman.I am surrounded by views designed for movie endings, friends smiling and slapping shoulders, and a work out that would make a hot yoga instructor throw up.
I love haying. I love the toil and I love that all day out there all we talk and think about is the river. When the work is done and all those bales are brought into the barn and stacked, we get to swill switchel and then peel (yes, peel) off our clothing and dump it into little biohazard bags in the back seats of our cars. Then we get suited up and enjoy the river. Gods bless the Battenkill - clean and clear and so close...
But long before we get to feel that first dive into the water we hay. That means us of humankind walk out into a giant-ass field where a semi-working baler has managed to lay the new squares out before us. Far as we can see are heavy things to lug and the sun is beating down. 300 to 350 of those bales need to be pickup up by us, stacked into piles of 5 or 6, and then a team of people on a large wagon come out and load them into the giant hauling boxes pulled by tractors that remind me of the cages on the side of a package of animal crackers. The sides are so high and the bars so thick, I expect a pacing tiger to be in there with us as we make our 4th trip back to the field and do it all over again.
We are the tigers. Us women and men out there, all of us helping each other out and earning our complaints and joys alike. We give up a few hours because no one farmer can do this alone, be it stacking into a barn or loading from the field. I never turn down an afternoon of haying if I can help it. It's proof positive that communities like this still exist, and always have.
That fellowship is the reason I am out here, because I don't know if it can exist in air conditioning. Not like this.