Saturday 2 July 2011: The Tractor - out at last
This morning I managed to cut the back and front fields ( we call them that, but really they are just the grass beyond the formal lawns which are cut much more regularly) for the first time this year. Politics gets in the way of gardening, especially in election years, the weather in May and June was terrible (though much improved in the last few days) and the wee tractor is temperamental - last year the main blade sheared just after it had been serviced ; this year it needed a new battery before it would start.
I don't often sit on it without thinking of a wonderful , tongue in cheek poem by the Welsh priest / poet R S Thomas , a poem which must have had parallel subjects in the Scottish Gaidhealtachd in places just like this.
Cynndylan on a tractor - R S Thomas
Ah, you should see Cynddylan on a tractor.
Gone the old look that yoked him to the soil,
He's a new man now, part of the machine,
His nerves of metal and his blood oil.
The clutch curses, but the gears obey
His least bidding, and lo, he's away
Out of the farmyard, scattering hens.
Riding to work now as a great man should,
He is the knight at arms breaking the fields'
Mirror of silence, emptying the wood
Of foxes and squirrels and bright jays.
The sun comes over the tall trees
Kindling all the hedges, but not for him
Who runs his engine on a different fuel.
And all the birds are singing, bills wide in vain,
As Cynddylan passes proudly up the lane.