The other morning my husband drove me to the bus station.
We drove in the fog, into the rising sun where the shapes of the haying machines emerged in our neighbor’s field.
We drove into a Van Gogh apocalyptic pastoral.
He would have made the scene vivid with the sculpture of paint.
But there was no time for that.
The bus to Portland was coming for me.
My camera, my simulacra machine, did the work.
They had been cutting the hay on our road.
The grass fell in neat rows on the ground, drying, soon to be rolled into bales.
The bales then rolled and set out in the fields until they are stored.
But there was no time to linger over the beauty of the season.
The reaper is loose on the land and we must hurry past the late summer harvest.
Make hay, when the sun shines.
Store the sun away and keep it for the cold or the night or the long stretches of time that might be otherwise dark.
The million memories I have stored are coming to me now.
The first leaves of spring are still about to open, I know every bud in the forest.
I remember every blade of grass and each dandelion.
My chin is yellow still from the pollen of childhood buttercups.
The maple seed “helicopter”, stuck on my nose when I was 8 is still there.
Remember the time when we pulled shiny blue mackerel from blue-black water at sunset?
It was the greatest fish story ever untold.
The fish all around us, churning the water, we pulled in our lines filled with four fish at a time, over and over.
An acre of fish around us, herring leaping, gulls diving, and the silver blue mackerel layered and thick in the water.
90 mackerel in our pails, we came up the hill drunk with our victory and overwhelmed by the seemingly endless bounty of the sea.
The smoke house went for days with the cool fire of dry apple wood.
What times we had, under this sun, and on this planet.
I am running on my reserves now.
That is what they are there for.