slow and steady

IMG_7867The nights are longer than the days now. The passage of each day gives us a little more dark than light, also giving us a little more time in the mornings and evenings to be still. And in the dark. I greet each day’s sunrise and bid farewell to the day at each sunset every day, but that’s not as impressive now as it was say, around the summer solstice when the days were so long. The seasons progress beyond our control, whether we like it or not. Before you know it, the winter solstice will be upon us, and the light will begin to return. But not yet. And right now, I’m feeling incredibly grateful for a little more time to be still, a little more time to knit and read and play games with the kids. IMG_7922But the days are still long enough to feel full, especially when we are still busy wrapping up the growing season. There are still a few rows of sweet potatoes to be dug. The winter squash and pumpkins still need to be gathered, the garlic still needs planting. Tomato cages have yet to be yanked and stored. We need more firewood, too. Always. More. Firewood.

The seasons progress, marching along in a way that can leave a person wondering where the heck the time goes. Especially when we don’t ever pause or take a second to notice and absorb the changes that are occurring around us. For me, the autumn is such a powerful time of change that is pretty hard to ignore. It’s hard not to pause for a moment  and take in the brilliance of the foliage, the slight chill in the air, the pouring down of the leaves… oh, it’s my favorite time of year! I hit my stride in the autumn. Maybe it’s because I’m finally getting enough sleep. Or that the bugs have lessened. Or that the oppressive humidity of summer is gone. Maybe it’s because the larder is full. Or that I can sit for a spell with a knitting project in my hands and not have a vague sense of guilt that I am neglecting something else. Maybe it’s because in my heart, I know I’ve put in a hard season’s work and have earned a much needed break…IMG_7923Whatever the reason, in the autumn it is so much easier for me to adopt the slow and steady frame of mind. I know that I should always have that attitude, but admittedly I often don’t. I am prone to putting too many “irons in the fire”, so to speak. I’m working on it, though. Slow and steady has become a quiet little mantra I chant to myself amidst the bustle of the days. Something I carry with me, like a lucky buckeye in my pocket, to be held and polished and admired. When I’m milking the cow, or trying to catch the calf. When I’m faced with another sink full of dishes or cleaning the house. When the children are relentless in their bickering. Slow and steady. It’s taken awhile, but over the years, I have really begun to notice the ineffectiveness of multi-tasking. My work is just as effective, probably more so, when I embrace just one task at a time, giving my full (well, as full as any mama can accomplish) attention to the work at hand. I feel better, too. My brain isn’t so dizzy, my smile returns.IMG_7886So, like the slow and steady progression of the seasons I, too, will move along lightly, deliberately, happily. Slowly and steadily. Or at least I’m gonna try…

Here’s to the gift of another day, friends. Enjoy it…IMG_7864

3 thoughts on “slow and steady

  1. Yes, we need fall don’t we? To understand spring, summer and winter we need fall. And we need to be too busy too, so we can slow down. And we need to be angry, so we can let it go. Right? All this has to happen, right? Each petal has to fall.

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