Rendered Fat Content


"Do not speak of yesterday or tomorrow today."

The hard luck farmers and harder luck miners who originally founded Denver were probably pretty much ready to head back to from wherever they'd come after that first hard winter and disappointing spring, until a couple of scant weeks into summer and SweetGrassSeason kicked in. Up until then, the region had meted out one humiliation after another. False springs had taunted their cabin fever. Heavy snow had isolated and humbled them. The foreshortened fall before surrendered too quickly into an early blizzard. I imagine them forlorn with a nagging spouse questioning again just what had seemed so promising about here. But then SweetGrassSeason arrived.

The sky had been cranky, mustering up quick tempestuous thunder carrying torrential rain and hail every damned afternoon.
The foothills had finally shed that boring buff beige winter coat, replacing it with a surprisingly lush green, just as if they weren't a thousand impossible miles from the nearest marine influence. Then one morning, the breeze turned decidedly zepher-ish and an overwhelmingly sweet scent surrounded everything. To merely draw a breath rejuvenated most of every deservingly depleted spirit, and the will to persevere returned with fresh reserves to spare; then, I imaging those disheartened finally started settling in. Sure, the crop land remained unpromisingly rocky and the claim had yet to give up her mother load, but the will to live and even to attempt living large, returned on that sweet breeze.

This season, the windows never close. Overnight, the finest sleeping potion wafts in and carries away the festering stink left by the sorrier seasons. Mornings spring fresh and frisky, filling the head with wild possibilities again. The whole place intoxicates better than a hundred rot gut whiskey shots and a barrel or two of dog piss ale. The upcoming effort seems like it might become reasonable again. No delusion disqualifies any dream. A certain confidence insinuates and nurtures some of that old self-confidence again. Then, those bedraggled pilgrims became pioneers again, willing to risk their own security for their children's prosperity. In SweetGrassSeason, such trades seem more than fair, even preferential to any likely alternative.

Even those of us who landed here on this unpromising shore a hundred years and more after those first frightful intruders, fall prey to the same seasonal maladies our territorial forebears contracted. By June, we've about had it with the fickle weather fronts and the frostbitten first plantings. The buff beige backdrop has sucked almost the last drop of any enthusiasm we firmly believe we could ever muster. But then one morning, SweetGrassSeason returns, and within a day, all suddenly seems right with this world. This world which masterfully mimes a wasteland most of the year, becomes the center of the promised land, vast and reassuring. I know that this season, too, will end too soon and be quickly overtaken by accumulated disappointments, but these few days—dare I hope for a few weeks?—hold an eternity all their own. I shed whatever dread so recently haunted me and move ahead with more confident strides. Do not speak of yesterday or tomorrow today. Leave me be in this sweet breeze.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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