Little something from the next book (due out August 21):
I use three whetstones to sharpen my scythe. Each is a slender oval that fits nicely to my palm. They vary in grit from coarse to fine. One was quarried in Austria. When I’m in the field I carry the whetstones on my belt in a repurposed plastic pop bottle half-filled with water. In addition to providing lubrication and keeping the grain of the stone from becoming clogged, the water makes a slurry of the stone and steel particles, thus enhancing the sharpening action. It’s calming to work in the old granary with the sunshine angling in and a cross-breeze pushing through. I spend a lot of time on the road, and sometimes it seems as if this country is either sadly slumping or hyperactively rising and no in-between. It’s a solid comfort, then, to stand here on this concrete floor with that date etched in the foundation behind me, watching other people run the distant interstate. Sometimes I think maybe the only thing I’ve learned in this life is to simply inhabit moments like these. To feel the sun, see the valley, hear the stone rasping on steel.
Want to be the first to know when Mike has a new book, or is coming to your area? Please sign up for the email list.