Raking Snow

Miles Moody

Boone, United States

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Nikon D90, 20 mm (Nikkor AFS 20 mm 1.4D), 1/2000 sec, ISO 640, F/2.8 hand held. Raw image processed in photoshop camera raw, 3 textures and a detailed dry brush watercolor effect applied in CS5. Cabarrus County, North Carolina, USA ©Miles A Moody All Rights Reserved. Kindly refrain from duplicating this written and/or photographic work without my written permission.

Raking Snow
By Miles A Moody
The wind driven snow falls horizontally as I stand alone in a field watching, waiting, uncertain as to why. It’s a mystical moment, it turns out, when impossible is real; these thoughts are not mine; whose are they, I wonder. I listen in. I’m allowed. A relic of a bye-gone era, now put out to pasture, the hay rake dreams of the smell of fresh cured hay, the sight of the mule plodding before it, and the sound of traces snapping in a warm summer day. Its metal skin is numb to these snow laden winds; this too shall pass, it thinks, remembering the farmer’s favorite phrase when he too wondered if he had the strength to endure the current circumstances. The winter will pass and I’ll be following in that old mule’s footsteps once again gathering the hay as we always have. I used to love the way Papa would bring me in under the shed come first frost. Many a rainy winter’s day, he’d smoke a pipe then lay a file against my itching places, rasping away the brown rust until the new shined through. He’d prime me and paint me taking his time. He’d whistle up such a cheer in the air as to make a bird jealous if birds were given to such, which they ain’t for a fact, and before long the sparrows covering in the rafters would be chirping away right along with him. When it would rain a big part of the day, he’d still be with me come noontime, and there momma would come with his dinner wrapped up in a basket. Fried chicken or the like and cornbread still hot from the stove, because she knew how papa loved his fried chicken warm on a cold rainy day, and she knew how it touched his heart that she’d come all that way across the lot to the shed on the back side of the barn. They’d sit and they’d eat and he’d say something silly that would tickle her so she shot sweet tea out her nose. Then he’d laugh, slap his knee and get moist in his eyes; he’d take a hard swallow – give her a long steady look until she flustered such to go staring at her feet like her shoe laces needed tending. Most times he’d get up and step to her and put her head in his arms and rock to and fro to the rain’s tin rattle. He never said nothing much and she didn’t neither. They’d just be that a way for a spell not saying a word. That’s what I miss most now come winter. That’s what I miss, sure enough. I’m sure glad I was there, let me tell you. Thank God up above that I got to be there. ©Miles A Moody All Rights Reserved.

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