The Uncertain Glory of an April Day*

Spring has come to this rural practice and with it brings the ritual and renewal that is spring cleaning. Spring cleaning is that biannual event, not quite unlike a wiccan sabbat, where one marks the turning of the seasons with some sort of great occasion. The tedious eviction of the accumulated detritus of the past six months may to give way to some great bacchanalia but it does provide for a certain amount of contemplation and reflection.

Some years back, on one of these April days where the weather was too good to work inside, but not quite good enough to work out in the yard or in the fields, I found myself lying half way into the manger of my horse trailer attempting to rivet a metal patch in place. It would have been a simple job had my workspace been large enough to hold me, the patch, the rivet gun and the work-light, but as only three of the four items would fit at any one time work proceeded at a less than optimal pace. It was as I was attempting to limbo my way back into the manger for the umpteenth time that a couple drove up, stopped and asked if I knew of any farms in the area that might be for sale. Fast forward a few years and that single conversation on a blustery uncertain day in April led to: a friendship, a business relationship (I buy hay from them and hire them to train my horses), and (many years later) they are my clients.

This is the way of a rural practice. It is those “over the fence post”, “down at the feed store”, or “was just driving by” conversations that led to relationships and from relationships come clients. Yes, I know, this is just simple social networking and out here the grapevine accounts for as much business as does more formal advertising, but on a spring day, even at the height of the rites and rituals of spring cleaning, its the conversation that you remember.

*William Shakespeare, “The Two Gentlemen of Verona”, Act 1 scene 3

O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day!