About 8:30 last night,
the temperature had dropped
a couple of degrees—
to 95—
but, with the earth about to
hide the sun,
and the little breeze
less warm,
the air felt cooler than that.
I had ignored the red wiggler worms
for too long.
About three weeks ago,
I had made a new bed for them
and put two batches
in the screen-bottomed boxes
atop the bin
so the worms could wiggle their way
into their new home.
It was time to check them
and, I knew,
add water.
One batch of worms had all moved
into the fresh bedding below.
The other batch
is still happy enough to stay
in the upper box.
I emptied the fresh castings
from one box into a bucket
and poured them on the asparagus bed.
Then I filled that screened box
with a new batch of worms and their castings
from the old bed
and watered both those in the new bed
and those still remaining in the old bed.

DSCN0196Worm Bin

By then
I was covered in rich soil
up to my elbows,
and dripping in sweat.
Our friend Tom had come recently
and set up the solar shower for the summer
and this was the moment
to see if it was working.

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I opened the faucet,
attached to the hose
attached to the water tank
attached to the solar panel,
then turned on the shower head—
and hot water flowed.
I added some cold water
and stood in the pasture
west of the barn
and watched the sky turn pink
as water from somewhere
deep in the earth,
warmed by the sun,
washed me of the worm castings
and summer sweat
and, at least momentarily,
any desire to experience summer in the north.
Then came another desire:
May I always find contentment
in the simple,
sustainable.

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