With a last look at my book lying on the couch I trudge out into the bright, sunlit day. Accompanied by my younger sister and mother, I climb onto our orange tractor. With a roar my mom drives away slowly towards our hay field. The barn in the far corner is filled with bales of hay, the grass field short after being cut a couple of weeks ago. Once we reach the edge of the field we clamber off the tractor and begin our work immediately. Walking through the ankle high grass my sister and I reach the edge of the field. Reaching into the taller grass along the hilly edge we each grasp an end of the long, silver irrigation pipe. Slightly warm from the hot sun above, the pipe is hefted into our arms and marched to the beginning of the irrigation line. Together we set it down and connect it together with the first part of the line.
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Once our task is completed we turn back to the edge of the field and find the second pipe in the grass. Working as a single, effective team my sister and I go back and forth, connecting each pipe to the previous one, laboring to finish our irrigation line as our mother works on another adjacent line. Through the afternoon with the sun beating down on our backs we work. A few mice scuttle ahead of my feet through the field, hawks circle ahead searching for lunch, and our lovable, if somewhat crazy dog, runs around the field, sniffing at this and that. When all four lines are finally put out and the pivot is in working order we all head off back inside, eager for a cool drink and a change to wipe the dirt from our shoes. After refreshing myself I collapse back onto the couch and pick up my book where I left off, eager to finish it today and move onto the next epic novel in the series and see what new adventures are in store for the characters and me. There I stay reading until I’m called to help prepare dinner.
After everything is cleared off the table and the leftovers are put away, my dad and I grab popsicles and head out to the porch into the clear, warm evening. Settling on the swing overlooking the field we each relax. Before us the very last glimmer of light sinks below the Cascade Mountains still covered with snow upon which we frequently ski during the winter months. Above our heads the glittering stars grow brighter as the sun sinks below the horizon. Looking up, I search for the big dipper, my favorite constellation. Everywhere I go I can always rely upon the big dipper to be above my head during the darkness of night. Whether I’m strolling back to my dorm in Rhode Island after a day of delving into my books at the library, steering on night watch upon the sailing vessel Geronimo in the Bahamas, or simply sitting at home with my family I can always rely upon the stars to be a familiar aspect in my life. However my life changes, for good or bad, the stars continue to shine and are a constant connection to everything that has made me who I am.
Feeling a slight trickle on my hand I look down from the heavens to my melting popsicle and wipe off the dripping juice. Beyond the porch the field is being watered, the slight tapping sound of the water running out through the pipe is the only thing my dad and I hear in the silent night. The last of the daylight has disappeared below the majestic mountains. In a few weeks I would be back in the field, this time taking the pipe out and putting it aside so that we can cut, rake, and bale the hay. Changes will occur in the future, I will head off back to school in September and in another year I will attend college but for now I am content to sit in the chair at home with my dad, licking away at my popsicle and listening to the fruits of my labor.