it’s about time

cavernWhat is time?  What is time for?

The measurement of a breath, the space between breaths.

Sleeping, waking, toil, and play.

The passage of a season in planting, tending, harvesting, and preservation.

The celebration of birthdays, holidays, moments of intensity.

The currency of our lives.

In the time it took for me to mulch my tomatoes, a family of sparrows hatched and fledged from an abandoned harvest basket on our porch.  The sparrows and I were busy with the same work – toiling with the materials at hand in an effort to feed our families.  The sparrow children grew up faster than ours, though some days, it feels like it may have just been a week ago that ours were born, too.cute kids

Time stretches and contracts.  It is constant but not consistent.

Once I heard my Tibetan Buddhist friends say that time is our own creation.

They weren’t talking about creation in the Biblical sense, of dividing the day and night. They were talking, as they often did, about perception, and our perception of time. In this age, when busy-ness is glorified and nearly inescapable, it’s worth consideration.

If we didn’t create the way we look at time – who did? If we didn’t decide how to use our precious time – who does? Who tells us whether “time is short” or “we have all the time in the world”? We do. We learn it early on, from others who have learned before us. And we are given training in schools to unify our perceptions and hustle when the bell rings, regardless of the task at hand. We are not taught to question this perception, and it takes a substantial degree of study and reflection to re-train these perceptive reflexes. Here lately I’m thinking it’s a worthy effort.

There are never enough hours in my day. I’ve heard myself say and think that phrase over and over. How exhausting!  It’s high time to break that habit.  Not that I will all of a sudden get everything done that I hoped to do in a day, but maybe I will be relaxed about the fact that my life is full.  It’s full of beauty, food, friends and family.  Full to bursting with the stuff of life and love.  What is time for but to love?

Last year, as we tapered off our writing habits, it felt like there was just too much going on to be able to write about it and be honest. And of course there wasn’t time.

Now, it feels like there’s too much going on, and to NOT write about it wouldn’t be honest. There’s no more or less time than ever. But I have missed this place to share thoughts at hand, visions, the beauty of life out here, so I’m choosing to take the time.

Because, this is another important thing that time is for – sharing.geese and girls

 

ten breaths

{Ten moments from the past few weeks that captured my attention, realigned my focus and brought me fully into the present. All shifts of awareness taking place in the expanse of just a breath… like ten breaths of fresh air.}IMG_5352inhale. The evening is warm. And windy. Thunder and lightning fill the air at the helm of an approaching cold front. I slip out into the darkness and find momentary refuge in my rocking chair on the deck. A little break from the noise and commotion of the world indoors with three excited children who are as charged as the atmosphere. I have the vague sense of where the moon is by the slight illumination of the racing clouds. Each flash of lightning makes the darkness of the bare trees more intensely dark; their cobweb of interlacing black branches holding up the strobing sky. And there, caught in a momentary flash of light, I see a single leaf on it’s quiet and lonely descent to the ground. A beautiful drifting dance captured in my mind like a painting. exhale.

inhale. Ira is sitting on the couch, practicing his reading. He has selected Dr. Seuss’s Fox in Socks. His tongue gets twisted and he bursts out in contagious hysterical laughter. exhale.IMG_5360inhale. I’m on my way to the wood pile. I’m lost in thought about something or other, probably thinking about what to prepare for the next meal. A sudden “trill” sounds in the air above me. The cranes. I look up into the crisp blue November sky to locate them, so high up I have to squint to gain focus. A tiny arrow of birds soaring southward in the vast expanse of blue. exhale.

inhale. The evening is here again. I walk into the kitchen and see the aftermath of a day spent mostly indoors. I approach the sink to tackle the dirty heap of dishes and half-finished cups of milk.  A giggle escapes from behind one of the cabinet doors. A sly and unseen smile, hiding. exhale.IMG_5356inhale. Saturday afternoon. I’m driving the truck home from Nashville after our final CSA delivery and farmer’s market of the season. I’m feeling pretty tired. It’s always a long drive and I’m eager to be home. Just a few miles from the farm, I look to my left, across a field of rich brown earth and the stubble of recently harvested corn. Caught on the wind, a Northern Harrier soars so low its wing tips seem to almost brush the ground… brown bird painting a brown landscape. The teetering flight, just inches from the ground, fills me with awe. exhale.

inhale. The day is cold. Outside it is precipitating; an uncommitted hybrid of rain and snow. After scanning the scene out the window, I look to the floor near the woodstove, where a lambskin rug is carefully spread. Ten little bare toes wriggle down into the wool. Warmth. Security. Comfort. exhale.IMG_5361inhale. It is starting to snow outside. I grab the firewood bags and head out for a refill, mostly focusing on the completion of the task so I can get the wood inside before it gets any wetter. The girls have zipped outside as well, to check out the newly falling snow. There is loud crunching. I realize that Opal is busily eating an icy snowball. exhale.

inhale. The day has dawned. In the fog of emerging from dreamland, a winter wren sings it’s melodious tune just outside the bedroom window, crisp and clear as a bell. A wake-up call with wings. exhale. IMG_5362inhale. It’s early morning. While breakfast cooks, I try to steal a few minutes at the computer. The words are not flowing and my gaze drifts out the loft window. There in the branches of the dogwood tree that overhangs our house is a bluebird busily having it’s breakfast. The brilliant blue of the bird and the glistening red dogwood berries that it is feasting upon are intensely illuminated against the bleak grey of the sky and saturated bark of leafless trees. Bright jewels of color explode and fly away. exhale.

inhale. My family is sitting down to lunch. The children are busily, eagerly eating and chattering away to whomever might be listening. I see Eric scan each precious face, quietly observing each child. We catch each other’s gaze and share a smile. exhale.IMG_5357So breath deeply, friends! And in the hustle and bustle of the coming holidays, don’t forget to treat yourself to an occasional breath of fresh air…

thankful

In the wake of a big birthday, and feeling embraced and loved, my thankful cup is overflowing. Indeed, I am so very thankful for so very many things. Today, I’m finding myself particularly thankful for wool… Wool from sheep that I know, raised so beautifully by my fellow farmwife, Robin, and her dear sidekick, Paul. And for the indigo plant which they grow on their farm and use to dye their very own wool with their very own (somewhat blue) hands. And for two luscious skeins that were deposited in my lap on said birthday. And for possibility and imagination… with yards and yards of wool, the possibilities are endless. I almost can’t take it. IMG_4291 IMG_4292And I’m thankful yet again for wool… wool that was hand-spun by the friend of a dear friend, and given to my eager hands with a bar of Olive and Sinclair chocolate and a lovely and simple pattern (could it get any better?), leaving me thankful that I didn’t have to consider all of the possibilities of what to create, letting my imagination focus instead on that chocolate. IMG_4213IMG_4212IMG_4215