Peace on Earth

I love the post-Christmas silence. People have been busting their butts for the past month and now they’re finished. They have a week, a week that will culminate in a New Years Eve party, and back to it, whatever it is they do normally. Not that the San Luis Valley is a very rocking place except during harvest, the big push to get everything in at the optimal moment.

I never before lived in an agricultural community, but I’ve always had a proclivity for remote places and small towns. As a kid I heard all the time about my mom’s life on the family farm, about summer jobs hoeing sugar beets, uncles working on the huge wheat farms, the coming through of the combine crews, about killing pigs and selling calves, collecting eggs, evading turkeys. It sounded like a hard — but great — adventure to me. As a grownup visiting in Montana, when I drove through towns like Roberts or Belfry (where my grandparents and Aunt Martha are buried in the cemetery my grandfather started) I always thought, “It would be nice to live here someday.” I wasn’t joking. Belfry and Roberts are small towns on the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone river.

I never minded the sometimes brutal cold of Montana winters, either, but I didn’t really like the short winter days. As it happens, Monte Vista — otherwise known as Heaven — is very similar to those Montana towns, but it’s a little larger (a good thing). There is the Rio Grande from which mist rises in the winter, a beautiful phenomenon. And here I have (usually, but not this year so far) nice “brutal” winters, and longer days all under a marvelous big sky where the future is written in clouds.

8 thoughts on “Peace on Earth

  1. I get you completely here. Since my youth in the East End of London (something like the Bronx perhaps) I always wanted to live in the country. Now I have been here since 50 years and never regretted my decision. The farmers do their work and I am in the middle of it. An those rivers with their mist. Yes definitely.

  2. I started my existence in Saskatchewan, a vast flat expanse. I was 6 when we left the 50-0 F weather and moved to the Okanagan. There were towns and people but thousands of fruit-bearing trees. Later we moved to Vancouver Island to the tip, the most northern and remote part where there were very few people. It was incredibly peaceful and quiet. There’s something to be said about that kind of all-encompassing soul healing silence. I’m in a bigger town now,but our actual location is “remote” considering there is at the moment, only one home here on this entire block of land. When the snow falls, it becomes even more quiet and special. Loved your post!

  3. We’ve got enough snow to turn our driveway into the bunny slope and we can’t find a plow, so we’re in that quiet space between the end of the oil tank and clearing enough driveway to get a truck here. Otherwise, it’s pretty peaceful and rather pleasant. Cold enough to almost get scalded on the radiator last night, but no wind, so it doesn’t feel as cold as it really is.

    The dogs are all sacked out, something I should be doing, too!

    I envy your big sky. And your mountains.

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