J.R.R. Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is among my favorite series of books - I'll admit, I've read the trilogy more than once. My favorite poem in the trilogy appears early in The Fellowship of the Ring:
Sing hey! For the bath at close of day
that washes the weary mud away
A loon is he that will not sing
O! Water Hot is a noble thing!
O! Sweet is the sound of falling rain,
and the brook that leaps from hill to plain;
but better than rain or rippling streams
is Water Hot that smokes and steams.
O! Water cold we may pour at need
down a thirsty throat and be glad indeed
but better is beer if drink we lack,
and Water Hot poured down the back.
O! Water is fair that leaps on high
in a fountain white beneath the sky;
but never did fountain sound so sweet
as splashing Hot Water with my feet!
You may wonder what this has to do with sustainable agriculture - probably not much, but here's the connection for me. Today, we trimmed our ewes' feet and ultrasounded about 20 percent of the flock to determine whether the ewes were bred. We had beautiful weather - cool enough not to sweat, but warm enough not to freeze (at least until the sun went down). By the time I got home after 6 p.m., I was cold and sore. At least for me, there's nothing like a hot shower when I'm cold and sore - I immediately felt better!
We didn't quite finish the feet trimming, so I'm headed out for more physical work tomorrow morning. I'm sure I'll be ready for water hot at "close of day" again tomorrow evening!