It is hot this weekend.
We are sweaty and smiling, splashing in and out of the small kid’s pool in the front yard. And spending the bulk of our late afternoons at our favorite creek, further up in the hills from the farm than the river just down our road, but better when it is really hot and the crowds are out and the colder, mountain water feels just right. We can’t work much in the heat, so we play. We break into the small stash of frozen raspberries and blueberries even though they were meant to be saved for winter. We treat ourselves. We are summering.
I love this weather.
I love the feeling of being baked, like the earth, to perfection. I drink it in, I feel myself unfurling. I need a good dose of it to make it through the grey Pacific Northwest winters of my adopted home. I am, by the sun, a leo after all.
And the plants are soaking it up too. Well watered, they love the heat just as much I do. I feel like I can almost see them growing by the minute.
But even more than the intense middle of the day, when the temperatures peak, what I really love, and miss the most from my childhood’s Midwest summers, is the evening time during an Oregon heat wave. Perfect summer nights, still warm, without a need for a sweater, but still cooler than the day. If I were younger, I would just throw down some blankets on the ground and sleep outside. If I could, I’d find some water to swim in under the moon. Those are the kind of summer nights I love.
Last night, we walked the fields in this perfect slowing down, simmering down time of the day. The sounds of the birds and the bugs, happy again to not be sweltering, filled the air alongside the blanket of dusk. I had my camera back in hand after a very long two week break of lending it to the oldest boy for art camp. I missed it, missed looking at our space through the lens, capturing this light. I gobbled it all up and stuffed it into digital files again. It was lovely.
This year’s growing season has been amazing. The weather, the plantings, the success. A true gift. I wish we could bottle it up and pour it over ever year to come, but we know all too well that this isn’t how the game of farming works. Nevertheless, it does feel like it was meant just for us, a balm from the universe to heal the wounds of last season, the first year that ever had us doubting our chosen profession.
Looking around last night at all the happy plants, pest free and thriving, the happy soil, the growing perennials, the beauty of our home, I almost couldn’t believe it was real. We are truly blessed. And we really do love what we do and all of the things that are a part of that, the good and the bad. We are happy, despite everything that could get in the way of our happiness, and that is about the most anyone can ask for.
This place is ours. Our vision turned reality. The cumulation of all our choices so far. It feels good to be able to say that we don’t regret any of it.
Last night was perfect summer’s night. Picture perfect, yes, as captured in photos. But more than that, it was, just like any other night in our lives, imperfectly perfect. It was us walking our land. Food growing, and weeds too. Naked small people running around that I couldn’t take pictures of, sometimes stepping in the rows, sometimes running through the wild. They were stitching their own sense of summer into their bare skin. My only hope for them, and for all of you, is that there are enough golden moments in the journey to always make the whole thing seem to shine.