Palaver from Persimmon Crossingwith Warren Faulk
Looking in a Hole
What is it about a freshly dug hole? Men cannot NOT look in a freshly dug hole. Around the world I have noted that whenever men dig, at the end of the day, they stop and look. They do not appear to be looking FOR anything. The looking seems to be an end unto itself. The looking is often accompanied by leaning on a shovel, even if the hole was dug by a machine.
Fiber optic cables and municipal water pipes were recently run through my settlement at the same time. Two unconnected and uncoordinated contract crews, digging and redigging the same holes and trenches. Lots of hours spent looking, just looking.
For years I thought this looking was about hourly paid wages ... but I've noticed that in my community, made up largely of farmers who work long hours and are self employed, hole looking is a fine art. Yesterday I watched four of them for the better part of an hour ... just looking and talking.
They did set a post. That took all of five minutes near the end of the hour.
Half way through the looking and leaning, I walked over and pointed out that all of them had work to do. They laughed, recognizing what they were doing. After the chuckling had died down, they got quiet, leaned forward on their shovels and checked to see what had happened down in that hole in the last minute.
Long ago a writer of childrens books wrote "A Hole Is To Dig". Apparently there is more to it than that.
-- Warren Faulk
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