Near the end of the day, out behind the barn, I paused in the middle of collecting sap and set the yoke and buckets down in the snow for a moment and just soaked in the moment. The sky was that vibrant azure color that seemed to move behind the trees and as I looked at it I noticed a small bat moving through the edge of the sugarbush in twirling pirouettes through the air. Every time he passed me to the west I could see through his wings and I realized just how fragile his body was. He was busy chasing down the early insects that swarm every time the temperature climbs above sixty degrees in New Hampshire and although it was an odd sight, a bat in flight in the middle of the day, I understood his urgency. Making hay while the Sun shines.
It’s almost Spring, with only three days left of Winter. Although today the last hard packed snow between the boulders is the only vestige left, you know it’s not completely gone. The sap is till running, the trees have yet to bud out and out on the pond the ice is still a single sheet thick enough to walk on despite the burst of warm air and gentle breezes.
Out on the deck of the sugar house my father was bottling syrup in the sunshine and the dogs were laying on the grassy patches next to the greenhouse fast asleep. And there I was for a moment, lost in the flight of a bat at the edge of the woods wondering how I ever lived any other kind of life than the one I have today.