A farmer’s respite

Things are winding down for the year just in the nick of time.  As the farmer harvests these last few CSA shares in the brisk window of time between defrosting and dark, washes them in the cold in spurts while alternately coming inside to warm his hands by the fire, he is all the while saying he is ready for a break.  This man loves what he does, there is no question about that; still, the work he does is both strenuous and consuming from the first tipping of the scale toward the sun in late winter until now, when we are blanketed in darkness.  He is busy and working hard and loving it, but after next week’s final CSA harvest for the season, he will thoroughly enjoy two full weeks off for the holidays.  The darkest days of the year, the brightest in the home; this will be the farmer’s respite.

After that, we of course will be harvesting again every week through the winter for the Saturday market.  We will also be busy filling up the CSA for 2012, ordering seeds (which we usually do some of in those last few weeks of December actually), and after just one month, the quiet month of January, he will be back at it again, in the greenhouse, starting the cycle of a seed’s life again.

Time is unruly in many ways.  Each day spins by a little faster than the last, but at the same time the beauty and pain of this life equally intensify.  The faster things move along, the more tightly I try to hold on to the amazing journey we are on.  I know that a lot of spiritual work is devoted to the idea of letting go of that grip; but for me, this life, in this body, with these people, in this place–I love it, perhaps more dearly than I should.

So with two short weeks of celebrating on the horizon, two blissful weeks that are ours (mostly), I will try to slow things down the best I can.  The farmer, who is equal parts husband and father and musician, will probably not do a whole lot of anything related to Growing Wild Farm the business.  He will come back to those duties refreshed and ready and the plans for 2012 are big and exciting so that is a good thing.

And in light of this short, short window he has to rejuvenate, my main goal for the holiday season is to keep everything simple and meaningful and purposefully relaxing.  These times of good cheer, with friends and family and each other, not only lighten our hearts in the darkest days, they energize us, breathe fresh life into our spirits as we continue moving along this path of time into another year.

These are the things I try to keep at the core of all that we plan and do during this month.  Next week, when we arrive at market with the last harvest of the year and wish everyone happy holidays, my  hope is that we all fall gracefully into those weeks of bringing joy and light to each other.  I know I will do my part to make this farmer’s spirit bright so he can continue to shine in his wonderful role as tender of the earth in the coming year, the seeds of which are already starting to germinate here within us.

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