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  • Writer's pictureThomas Lawrence Toscano

Trenches and Turkeys

So, as you can see here in Vermont it's MUD SEASON! I've been hearing about mud season since I moved to Bennington in 2014. Each year, I was told - well it's one heck of a mud season, but, truly didn't have much personal proof. Why? Well, during that time period - most usually April, I rarely had occasion to go onto farms or even dirt roads. It's not that I never did it - it's just that I didn't have that "fateful" experience with mud. Well, isn't that lovely - this year, however, now that I truly live IN THE COUNTRY! :-)! I have, very sincerely, all kinds of experiences with MUD!

This is my driveway. Now I realize it might not look at that terrible to you, trust me, it is. In fact, I am not going in and out of this any longer. I drive way to the south ( see the white pipe sticking up in the background? I turn left soon after and pick my way across the field and driving around my latest pond - and leave my property onto the road over the safety of higher ground.

There, just where the trees begin on the left. Now, I will not be making this my new driveway, I will be solving the mud issue and the water issue with my trusty tools!

From back to front, a stone rake, a shovel, a mattock and a four tine cultivator rake. Now, the mattock is the only one which is new to me. In fact, I was calling it a pick - and yet - it is not a pick it is a mattock. Dating all the way back to the Bronze age, it is a cultivating tool. Usually it has either an axe type blade or a pick type blade. This one is single bladed, the simplest form of the tool.

Something like this. Interestingly enough it was the maddock that was the most useful digging my trenches this week and draining the impromptu pondlet that formed (is that a word?).

Truthfully this is today's picture, for I had failed to take a picture of the water - it's half the size it was.

All my years in excavation afforded me two different points of view. One has to do with the swiftness that I could have solved this problem with a back hoe and some gravel. The second comes from all my time spent in the trenches, dug either by my father, Larry or my brother Frank ( I worked for both of them). In fact, the last time I worked in the trenches with Frank was 1999. But that's another story, I had a great time working with him..) What I knew, is that I could do this work, even today, with no problem! So I am.

.Now as I was working on this very important project ( I am still waiting to get my lumber delivery for the deck - and in part - it has to do with the condition of the driveway ) I had a very powerful experience.

I was working, digging away, late in the afternoon. Coaxing the water out of the pondlet, yet again. You see, every so often, as the level would diminish, I'd have to convince it to come out again, by deepening each trench, both at the mouth of the pond and throughout it's entire course. While doing this suddenly there came a very familiar yet very surprising sound! A turkey called right across the street from me in the woods, see here below on the left

WOW! This was a thrill I can tell you. Surprised me, because I'd seen some sign but, not a lot as I walked through the woods this week and for some reason just didn't think they were around. Boy was i wrong! There were two in front of me and, another two behind me up behind my cabin. I quickly finished what I was doing as this cacophony continued, and quickly went to my tent to rescue my turkey call from my old back, Brooklyn company backpack, that I used to walk around Brooklyn with! (I know use it to hunt turkey carrying calls, supplies, etc)

As I came up to the cabin I thought of all of you and decided to see if I couldn't create a record of this. So, I set up my phone on video and called to the turkey. Forgive me for not posting the actual film - it's a bit long and boring and I don't have time, on my limited battery supplying me electricity to run the internet and this computer, to edit it. So, here is a snapshot and the appropriate soundfile of what happened.

Click on the link here below to hear.

Now, that's me at the beginning using my turkey call to imitate a hen. You can hear the immediate response and how close he was. The turkey was right down the hill from my position, which was fantastic. Would that it was May, I would have traded my work tools for hunting tools and harvested a turkey, yum, yum. Who knows, it may still happen, when the season opens, in 2 weeks or so. This all happened on Tuesday of this week and I had not heard them since. I made this video quite late in the afternoon, so I did expect them to be around Wednesday morning, however, they had moved on.

It's been a glorious week, not only because of the Turkey playing with me, but, also the wonderful walks I've taken exploring my own land. Harvesting wood for the fire, cooking some delightful meals, making a wonderful Easter pasta on Sunday, hamburgers on Thursday, marinated pork filets on Tuesday, some on the outdoor grill and some on the stove, it all depended on the temperature, which has ranged from the high 50's to the low 20's. So each day, had it's own surprises, such as, it snowed 3 times this week, and a larger system moved through last night. As I woke up, I decided to lounge a bit, the fire had gone out so, even though I was snug, I lay about just thinking and enjoying my swinging hammock.

SUDDENLY! I saw movement out the window - and lo and behold. I turkey at 10 oclock or so in the morning, flew up to a tree not 10 yards from my window and sat there. I had to get out of the hammock to retrieve my phone, since it had fallen under my blanket and - as I went to take the shot realized that the bird had flown back down. To tell the truth it did not seem very comfortable in the branch it had chosen. SO!!! What is the moral of the story?

Very simple. Please pay close attention and let yourself consider these words.


I can't tell you how many times, even recently, I have heard the phrase " I believe what I can see - Show me the proof, etc. etc. etc. ".

How do I prove what happens when I conduct? How do I prove the knowledge I receive preceding an important life event? How do I prove that magic exits? That miracles occur? That this country is in a very serious and significant time in its history? And, that major positive changes are coming. In fact, they are already here, not everyone knows and accepts, but, they are here.

I don't. I won't even try.

It's up to you to believe or not believe. That all said - it's truly very simple - just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it is not real. Just because you believe something, doesn't make it correct. Just because someone you look up to tells you, that you are not a good musician, or painter, or cook, doesn't mean it's accurate. It's your journey first and foremost, THAT is sacred.

What are you doing with that divine mission? That's up to you.

There's a saying in Portuguese "Santo de casa não faz milagre".

Which basically translates as "...your local saint, does not perform miracles".

Yes, they do.

Miracles, magic, unexplained phenomenon occur all the time. It is my intention that this blog act as a source of such testimony. Just because I believe that the turkey have moved on - doesn't mean I'm correct. As, this mornings turkey reminded me in the simple gesture of flying up to a tree right in front of me. So, what's the purpose of today's moral?

You, and I and everyone else on this planet are much more than we think we are.

How do we begin, or continue to explore this? Listen - " what?". To everything. Especially to yourself. That which you hear and feel ( hearing is feeling my friends, what you are hearing is brought to you by vibrations, even if they are internal ). In fact, in Italian the word for hear and the word for feel are the same. Sentire - Feel --- Sentire - Hear.

Oh, and by the way - do you know what an anagram for Listen is?


So, during this global event, guess what one of the by products is. More quiet, more silence, more for you to interact with through listening. I heard a report this morning about how birds and other creatures are reacting differently, because there's less noise. They will change their calls, and they will show themselves just because there's less offensive sound. Oh, and yes, actually, I made noise as I worked and yet the turkey sounded anyway. Why?

I marveled at that a bit, one reason is hormones of course, it's mating season. The other is another part of the message today's turkey gifted me. I see my cabin as apart - separate from the forest. It isn't. Plain and simple. it's not a big enough clearing and I'm not outside of this environment, I'm part of it. More and more each day.

Allow the creatures that surround you, no matter where you are, teach and heal you. Heal? Yes, heal. It is very soothing to let go and open. Very bonding to join instead of fight the joy of the life that we have and live and resonate with. It's very rewarding to accept the gifts than ignore them. Let go of the labels my friends...what if you woke up tomorrow that you are mother nature? What if you woke up tomorrow to find that you are father time? What if you woke up tomorrow to find that you are thrilled with life? What if?

I am quite aware dear ones of what is happening out there. Some friends of mine have lost very dear people this past week. And, as we all know it's not over. It's hard and it's tragic in its own right. Yet, their lives are their sacred paths and, in the end, all we can do is honor their lives. We cannot stop death - we can live life. Listen. Silent. Love.

Thank you all, as always for being here with me today. Thomas

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