What demanding days these are on Island farms. And excitingly new. At Aiderlea there is now little time left to repine. And it would be, to say the least, considered a digression. if one of the housewives were to be discovered now seated at some piece of idle sewing, like making herself a dress, or reading a magazine or book! Not that words would spill. Expressions on faces would be beyond that. They would register a sadness. a dejection near to despair. to think that their chosen ones were showing so little interest. in the affairs of the cropping without.
“See!” we exclaimed to James at breakfast when we noticed Papa Starling alight on a branch of the white birch by the gateway. There was a shrill call – an SOS. And Papa – to – be Robin flew in instantly to assert his claim to this neighborhood. where his spouse instinctively had crouched low on the warm blue eggs in the nest.
“What is it. Ellen?” James inquired starting up from his chair.
“it’s that starling” we said
“He’s bent on making trouble with the robins. It‘s no use, we‘ll have to let the boys do some shooting.”
“Oh” he said, sinking back relieved. “The starling. Well, don‘t start anything at present, Ellen.
Wait until the cropping is done. We’ve got about all that we can handle now as it is!”
A load of fertilizer comes in the yard, goes up the farm-lane to a field. We know it is being presently spread. Grain comes from the name, for the cropping is a family endeavor. And somewhere, sowing is being done with the horse and old seeder, but as well as by tractor and machine. With a happy sound, a tractor come to the yard to re-fuel. Its sound ceases for a few minutes while the gas pump takes up the refrain. Then in no time, that quiet prevails which tells us that machine and operator are off again to some field.
Mealtimes are more exact now, the time spent over them brief. No time to chat now of current events – of pleasant “frivolities” such as June birthdays, of babes’ arrivals, of showers and approaching weddings, subjects all so dear to the heart of womenkind. In the broader field, bi- culturalism, bi-lingualism, or which flag or flag design is being chosen are for the time lost topics, while the farm puts its own first things first, and in the main gets on with the seeding.
Yet what an interesting and exciting time it actually is! The same we waited for though early springtime days: very heart of the one seedtime of all the year.
Pretty mornings we get. Brilliant sunsets. Quiet evenings. Sun shower. And will we wondered to James today, get the usual sheep – storm with cold winds and rain in the June-time now here?
“On my rounds, I never saw a better promise of hay that of this spring”, was the inspiring news the genial fisherman brought us along with his toothsome wares this afternoon. “Yes, there are certainly some fine catches of clover this year.”
“Jump, Ellen!” James grins hanging up his cap. “Indoors you may not suspect it he says, “but a man gets mighty hungry when he works in the fields. Get me a bite of lunch now.”
– Ellen’s Diary, June 9, 1964