The drought is over and rain is heaven’s gift to the thirsty land. We’ve actually got water standing in the pastures; not that it’s been a hard rain but rather it’s been a constant rain. I adore the rain, whether doing my farm chores or sitting on the back porch just waching the animals and the rain.
Today, the air has been so humid it depletes my energy…what a lovely reason for porch sitting! But, depleated energy leaves little strength left over for even the simple act of breathing. At times I must concentrate on drawing in a breath deep, and, after holding it for a moment or two, release it slowly, carefully so as not to give in to the vertigo of a quick release.
It seems the most joyous of life’s moments are like a deep breath. Compelling, fulfilling but ephemeral and, all too soon, a memory destined to fade all too quickly.
A favorite author is Jeanine McMullen, I try and read her books every year. She’s an expat Aussie who bought a smallholding in Wales and her books are the tale of her farm journey. A Small Country Living, A Small Country Living Goes On and The Wind in the Ash Tree are so well written and I always laugh until I cry at some of her experiences. She loves her animals as much as I love mine and their personalities are as real to me as any human I’ve ever met. I would love to meet Ms McMullen, better yet in Wales over a cuppa and with one of her books in my hand. If any of you know her, please tell her I’m a great admirer.
Recently someone gave me a wonderful compliment… they said my writing reminded them of Gladys Tabor; what a kind comparison! She wrote so many books of her life at Stillmeadow; a 1950’s Connecticut farm with so many memories put to paper, with accompanying photos.
She said, “We need time to dream, time to remember, and time to reach the infinite. Time to be.” How true yet how many of us actually take that time? Tempus Fugit…but we’re always so busy, going here and doing that…
I’m one of those people who have a small flock of rare Shetland, Romney and Merino sheep specifically for their fiber; not for their meat. They earn their keep by providing me with excellent quality fleeces which are then processed into blankets, yarn or hand crafted items. They also earn their keep by just being themselves and giving, unconditional, love on a daily basis. (Although I have noticed with some, their love seems directly related to the corn bucket.) Farming is my choice of lifestyle. It’s how kith and kin lived in generations past. My family settled Appalachia more than 250 years ago and put down roots for mostly poorer in money, richer in living.
As a society, it seems we’ve exchange busyness for productivity and haven’t even noticed we’ve sold our souls. We tell each other we’re “just busy, busy, busy” but, really, don’t have much to show for it except short tempers and crossness.
It’s true I struggle to sell my limited collection of farm spun wool yarn
but I’d rather struggle at selling my yarn than at a two hour commute each
day. My commute is strolling down to the stables each morning and feeding the sheep and horses. Along the way, each one greets me and is most excited to see me coming. I’ve got time each day to play with the kittens, curry a horse and carry my knitting to the pasture…all because Dave and I have made choices to slow down, stop being so busy and enjoy life while we’re living it. And, there’s absolutely nothing like knitting with yarn from a sheep I know. It gives a circularity to life that suits me just fine.
So, while it’s true time does fly, it flies more slowly when I allow it to sift through my fingers…when I take time to sit, to think, to be. I give myself permission to enjoy both my rest and my labor, to enjoy myself, my home, my family, my husband, my life…to sieze the day.