Life tends toward chaos, and nowhere is that more evident to me than life on a little farm. Weeds take over the driveway. Grapevines grow through the woods and try to choke out the trees. Poison ivy climbs the fences. Mulberry trees and black walnut trees sprout up everywhere. Tree branches hang low. And of course, the grass grows.
Summer is when I work to beat back entropy.
Last week I discovered that grape vines were not just in our woods (something we knew when we moved here), but actually growing on the corner of the house. I pulled them off, cut back the walnut trees that had sprouted up amidst them, and tidied that area.
When I walked over to the neighbor’s house to let out her dog (she’s got a new job that requires her to be gone for long hours), I noticed that the side of our barn had weeds and grapevines, plus an overgrown maple tree that needed trimming. So while Boomer (the neighbor’s dog) watched, I took care of all that.
Poison ivy is sprouting up on fences and trees and around Husband’s wood shop. I took a bottle of Round Up to all that I found.
A few days ago, I noticed that our 80-year-old neighbor, as he mowed his back field, struggled a bit to mow around a mulberry tree whose branches were sagging all the way to the ground. I called over and asked his wife if it would be okay for me to cut it back for him, and she said that would be just fine. So I wiggled through the woods and over the fence with my nippers and cut down some sizable branches.
Then I made my way back into our woods where I knew the grapevines were going crazy. I cut a bunch of them off and hauled out what I had energy for. Vines are still hanging from the treetops, but they’ll die since they aren’t connected to the ground anymore. Someday I’ll get back in there, yank them down, and pull them to the fire pit as well. I wish I knew a way to kill the things. They are so darn resilient.
There’s a big pile of stuff to burn now, and as soon as it all dries out, I’ll light it up and take delight in watching it burn. It brings a little order back to the place.
Until it all grows back.