|During one of my earlier journeys to Austria, Lambert Schoiswohl, a retired scythesmith, told me “Die Sense muss tanzen” (The scythe must dance).In August 2000, Manfred Atzmuller, the mayor of Rossleithen and a mower himself, organized a brigade to trim some of the roadsides in the village. And so I had a chance to mow along the side of Mr. Schoiswohl. At 72, the extremely steep slopes did not hinder him.On December 24, the most celebrated day in Europe, he finished decorating the Christmas tree, stood back to revel in his last task…and was a mower no more.
The following poem is dedicated to the memory of Lambert Schoiswohl and others with gifts in their hands.
The Old Man’s Gift
“The scythe must dance”, the old man said.
“See what I do ~ watch closely now!
Together they met in the meadow each morn
Gazing upon neat swaths with pride