It’s been one of those weeks. My mind is in a billion different places, and my feet are tripping over themselves in my haste to get to wherever it is I am going. Our summer season in the garden and on the farm is winding down very quickly. We’ve been yanking out expired summer crops to make way for the last little bits of fall planting that we are trying to squeeze into the still full gardens. One more CSA delivery for the summer season and then we’ll be taking a few weeks off to have some resting and regrouping time before we fire up the fall season’s CSA deliveries in early October. So maybe, just maybe, when I get a little rest, my thoughts will converge into something worth writing about… until then, though, here are a few random thoughts and images of late:IMG_7801…The kids got dressed up for Halloween today. They went up to the garden in full costume to trick-or-treat the garden plants.

…There is a big storm brewing just to the south of us. That is normally not the direction our storms hail from, but I am certain I can see the clouds billowing and pluming and reaching and stretching towards the farm. I know the rain is coming. The thunder claps continue to get closer. Being the logical girl that I am, I decide to hang laundry on the line.IMG_7865…I can’t stop looking at the wood cookstove. I do not deny the impulse to polish off some of the accumulating dust so I go ahead and shine the thing up. It’s ninety something degrees outside and my mind keeps drifting to those dark cold mornings, creeping around the house so as to not wake the children, and kindling a fire.

…It’s way past the kid’s bedtime. The day was long. Everyone was up early and there were no naps. Olivia sits contentedly on the couch, not seeming the least bit tired, cutting up a piece of paper with toenail clippers.IMG_7818…This morning the fog was incredibly thick. Driving up the hill in the golf cart to milk Lilly, my sense of space was distorted. All was gray. Faint darker gray blobs that might be trees appeared momentarily, and were then swallowed back into the fog as I passed by. A million spider webs glistened and drooped under the weight of all that moisture. The cedar trees looked like they had been dusted with snow.

…When we have long spells of rain and the humidity soars and the temperatures are stuffy, the woodwork in our house blooms a white mold. I wipe it all away, and in just a few days it’s back again. There is no air-conditioner to keep the mold in check. I’m not pining for an air-conditioner, though. I have a better tool: a wood stove. The past two days Ira has kept the fire in the cookstove raging. He was so excited to have a fire in the house again that he went up to the garden and dug some sweet potatoes. Bye bye mold. Hello freshly baked sweet potatoes.IMG_7925…When you borrow a dump truck from your neighbor to make the hauling of compost from the pile to a garden patch a bit easier, it might be good to make sure the hydraulic lift functions properly before loading it with compost.

On that note, I am suddenly tired. I am reminded of all that has been happening, and all that will be happening very soon, and the fact that my day will begin before the sun is up tomorrow.

Good night, friends. May you all rest easy. I know I will.


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…