Grab a cup of tea and join us for our Saturday discussion, “tea time”. We would love to hear from you, too. If you have something to contribute to this conversation, please leave a comment below. Enjoy.
about the flow of our days. I know we’ve all studies these beautiful Waldorf inspired books about following seasonal, weekly, daily rhythms. And, on the farm, there are a great deal of them to follow. The fast beating drum of summer sets the pace now, and I wonder if there’s a corresponding harmony in the flow of your days. Do you hold regular mealtimes, resting times, bed times, in the day and week? How do you hold to it?
I’m sure that for all of us harvest and delivery days are all hands on deck work time, which takes a chunk of energy and leaves us ready for a break the day after. For us, pancakes are the non-negotiable pattern of Sunday morning. We all love that, and it anchors us for the work of the rest of the week, whatever it will be.
I’m curious to know you dear ladies’ take on movement of the family-farm circus around the clock. With a bit of our work being away from home now, I find I’m readjusting our schedule frequently. Do you have ‘work hours’? Built in breaks? How you do you anchor yourselves in the tumultuous ebb and flow of summer?
Cher replies... Rhythm. Hmmmm. The seasonal dance of life on a farm and homestead is pretty obvious: the work that needs doing almost always follows the season’s needs, be it planting seeds or hauling firewood, gathering the harvest or tending baby chicks. And the flow from one season to the next is so gradual (usually) that the whole family can adjust our pace and focus as needed. Living like we all do on these little homesteads of ours, there is really no way possible to not fully embrace the seasonal rhythm. (Even though sometimes in the middle of summer when I should be out wrangling swamp grass, I want to pull the curtains in the bedroom to make it dark and get out my neglected knitting and pretend it’s winter…)
Once we begin the market season each year, our weekly rhythms are dominated by harvest day and market day (and then recovery day). And that seems to flow relatively smoothly with the family. The weeks just seem to pass so much more quickly then. The children love going to market, it’s a party day for them and something to look forward to. The only real disruption with our family’s harmony is that the kids get a nice invigorating nap on the drive home from Nashville, and upon our return to the farm, are rested and ready for action when Eric and I are ready for a break. That can be a real challenge.
I feel like it is the consistent daily rhythm that can be so befuddling… Yes, my days are filled with rhythm. Mealtime, choretime, and bedtime being the anchors. The in between times are always full, but the content varies greatly. And this is where things can sometimes unravel. Like when mama really must tackle heaps of tomatoes before they rot when three kids have three different plans for my time. I have read many Waldorf-based books (one of my favorites is You Are Your Child’s First Teacher) on creating daily rhythm with the children (in particular, with homeschooling). I marvel at the beauty of it, really. But I am not there yet. Probably never will be. However, I am present for my children. And that is one of the most important things I want my children to see: that I am present. I am there for them at any hour of any day, no matter what else is going on. This consistency sets the stage for any day, any week, and any time of the year.
interestingly enough, i agree entirely with both of you…no surprise there. our seasonal rhythm is near perfect. really, after all of these years tending this homestead together, we move through the seasons smoothly. as a family we look ahead to the shifts as they approach, embrace the one we are in, and ponder those past. the children know the meals change, the pace changes but they know we will cycle through again and again. the weekly rhythm shifts for us too: market season (from may through november: half of our year) revolves around harvest and delivery as it does for your families. we have another anchor in our weekly routine which centers around madeline: our dancer, artist, performer has classes each week that define our “town days”. this brings us down to the daily rhythm: eegads. this can be a challenge for us too, but here i have to thank dear addie, our milk cow, that demands our daily attention dawn and dusk. we awake to chore time, gather back at the kitchen once complete, eat together and then go with the flow. meal times vary, but evening rituals and bedtimes remain consistent enough that no matter what has happened throughout the day, we all seem to fall onto the couch at the same time, rain or shine, each day’s end. it is a circus.
The best circus I know! (adds Coree)