I admit it. Right this minute, I should be doing our taxes. We’re down to the last minute and I have all the paperwork stacked on the desk beside me, but I’m not doing it. It is too miserable a task to even contemplate. Instead I go outside to capture spring.
The last few mornings, when I have risen just before dawn, I have gone outside to breathe deeply of the scents that hang heavy in the cool moist air. The perfume from thousands of orchard blossoms on our farm is heady and intoxicating. There is nothing quite like these two weeks each year when our farm becomes a mass of snow white and pink scented flowers, busy with honey bees and eventually showering petals to the ground as the fruit starts to form.
Unfortunately, I’m allergic to tree pollen. I breathe deeply and… sneeze and wheeze. Even the best medicine can’t stop my reaction. So much loveliness causes so much misery. So I retreat back to the house and look out the window and enjoy the view from afar, dabbing my dripping nose.
Ironically, this is the same time of year our dairy farm neighbors start to empty their manure lagoons and begin to spread their thousands of gallons of liquid manure on the surrounding fields, readying the ground for the hay or corn crop to come later on this summer. That scent hangs heavy in the cool moist air as well, pungent and unforgettable, penetrating even into our clothing so we carry the smell back into the house with us. Of course I’m not allergic to manure. After all, it’s only grass and water transformed. In fact, as nasty a smell as it is, it’s invigorating in a perverse sort of way. I know where it comes from, I know what its potential is, and I know the crop it yields. It is, in itself, as treasured as the blossoms that yield fruit on our farm.
Taxes are the manure in our lives. They are pretty stinky too, just like manure, an inevitable part of our daily existence, yet even more onerous. However, spread out where needed, those collective taxes fertilize and grow our communities, our schools, our roads, our health care (and a few other things we may wish would not be funded).
So I must get to work spreading numbers across my desktop in the hope they may make sense and yield fruit of their own, sometime, somewhere.
The Cents of Spring.