It Never Changes - 27 East

Letters

Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1694634

It Never Changes

It’s beyond comprehension that this terrible coronavirus pandemic has upended our lives in ways that we could never have conceived.

At this same time, farmers all over the country are getting ready to start planting. Agriculture is risky business, but farmers are the ultimate optimists and dreamers.

Out here, where we are graced with some of the richest soils on the planet, farmers have begun to hit the fields, eager for the plow to strike that first furrow and for the planter to drop in the seed. If you take a ride through Bridgehampton, Water Mill or Sagaponack, the smell of freshly plowed soil may give you some hope at a time when we could all use a lift.

This poem was written by our son, Teddy, when he was 16 years old. Sadly, he passed away on July 24, 2014. But his words live on — and so does spring planting.

Indeed, some things don’t change. And for that we are ever grateful.

The Soil Is Calling

It happens each spring out on the East End.

Around 5:30 in the morning,

it’s time to get out of bed.

Early, dark, damp, cold,

but that’s the beauty of it.

Hey, Sporty, bacon, toast?

Breakfast is quick.

The soil is calling.

The red ’82 Chevy has been waiting

since November to go.

We shove off. Hats and gloves on —

It’s gonna bite today.

The seed has already been cut.

The trucks are ready for war.

The barn door opens.

The tractors and trucks just wait there.

For an instant, you feel

like the king of the world.

The key turns.

Nothing but a nice screech and a grind.

Finally, it’s on.

The John Deere is barking and howling,

ready to hit the field.

The Chevy, the fertilizer and seed trucks,

and the planter are coming down.

Just a little ways from where

Mitchell meets Scuttle Hole, we start up.

The seed is dumped into the planter,

the Deere growls up, almost ready.

The soil smells better than

anything could ever smell.

The cold makes you feel proud

that this is what you do.

The plow has already churned up a few furrows.

Boss, let’s get going.

The Deere pulls the planter,

the hydraulics lower down

and we move.

Down the row we go

just the dark soil, the sun and us.

No amount of money on earth

could ever match this feeling.

Never mind potato bugs, droughts, floods,

nematodes, blights or taxes.

Just breathing in the clean air

makes it all worth it.

For the first mornings of spring,

we rule the world.

It is work, but it is glory.

It happens each spring out on the East End.

Nancy and Benny Graboski

Bridgehampton

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