Sagaponack Community Notes, April 30

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Finally, we have entered the blur of time that is potato planting season. It is blurred because the workload is large and the rate at which you achieve it is crucial. It is also blurred because we’re all pushed off the farm and onto Sagg’s roads. From here we see more fields that we used to farm than fields we now farm. The unfamiliarity is dreamlike. No wonder we don’t know which days are passing.Just as the farmer’s use of the land was eclipsed by the Tudoresque manor, pool and tennis court, so too the manor falls from “popularity.” If Parsonage Lane is any proof, we are trending boxy and away from shingles; could anything be more extreme a shift? It’s a trend schism, and like most trend schisms it has entertainment value to those directly involved.

No matter what these houses cost, the two types, staring at each other from across an agricultural reserve, look ridiculous. An army of landscapers is mobilized to ameliorate the obvious. It is like a finger painting taken too far.

Ever since real estate was discovered as a way to cope with our territorial desires, people are forever building things higher and wider and glassier, to get a view and be part of one too. Another way to get this view is to work on a farm. True, the beauty will flicker and sometimes even be dark; the view will not be one of command but of reflection, worry, even regret. Still, the moments between checking your implement and your destination—the rows your making, the corduroy of chocolate dirt across the acres—there is the silver haze of pussy willow and providing there is no radio to mention otherwise, all is right with the world.

Whether it is true or not is not the concern. Here, for this moment, what matters is that you can happily bask in the appearance of order before your eyes shift back to the mirror, the implement and the work ahead.

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