between the moon and the sun

full moon, field, farm, sunset, moonrise, summerA quick trip to the greenhouse to grab some tomatoes for dinner last night, but I came back with more.  A gift given~golden light and the big moon rising.  A chance to see things from a different side.  Me on fire like the grass, ablaze from the sun, but in shadow, so still.  Perfect.  I almost always watch the sun set from our home.  Last night, on the other side of the farm, it was a different view.  A new perspective.

summer, sunset, field, farmWaking on Saturday morning to find the pet snake escaped, the snake whom I was only barely convinced I could, in fact, share a home with, unseen, and my skin so uncomfortable from then on, I should have known it would be a challenging weekend.  Challenging in everyday kinds of ways. Challenging in big ways.  Bickering kids, disagreements in finding things for everyone to enjoy, struggles with finding time to get some work done too.  Heath concerns and questions.  That whole day was a wash that I couldn’t wait to be clean of.  Sunday, we mellowed.  We found the snake.  We worked together and played together and ate coconut-lime ice cream.  We swam.   And then, just to really top it off and clear the gunky residual of any tension that remained, five minutes of quiet out in our field, just me and the moon and the last kiss of the summer sunset.

moon, black and white, photography

It only becomes more clear to me, as time passes, that in this life we have to be able to hang with both of these kinds of days. The good ones and the bad.  The flow and the ebb.   And I don’t have a hard time with this in theory, at all, but I do have a hard time with this in practice, if only because I feel the pressure of the world around me, not allowing for such.  And maybe it shouldn’t.  I want to say that on our shadow days we get a free pass to get less done, slow things down, and just do whatever it takes to make it through that day.  But we have to do more than that, everyday.  I probably shouldn’t have let the tiny troubles of our Saturday make such a big impression on me.  I don’t know.

But when I let it all go last night, as I centered myself between the moon to the east and the sun to the west, I knew this for sure, that it feels a whole lot better now than it did then, thankfully.  And I knew, just as certainly, that no matter how wonderful, I could not hold onto that perfect moment forever, make it last, forever.   I could only breath it in and hope to keep it stored up inside me to call upon the next time I needed to remember so much goodness and beauty, and me, a part of it.  And that the flux, the vacillating, only helps me to feel so damn alive in such a moment, squared off with the heavens.


Seeing through

Seeing through

The moments are hard to hold onto in summer. Time flies by, filled with hours in the sun, the dirt.

Food flows, overflows.

Fields bergeon.

Rest is found in exhaustion, not necessarily repose. Stillness, at the end of the day, is hazy at best. But click, click–the camera can see through it all. It finds moments, captures time. I suppose that is why we all love it so. It helps me wade back into my mind when my body is in full motion. I liken summer to bursting, winter to contracting. But we all need to flow back and forth through these moments every day, in all our seasons.

We all find our own ways to see us through. Busy can be a reality, a state of motion, a time of the year. But busy can also be a state of mind, and I find that of no use most of the time. To find the thing that slows time, that gives us back to ourselves.

That is the present, to be present.

Rise up!

pretty eggs

pretty sweet boy

I have a million and one things to say about yesterday’s holiday.

From an ode to the sweetness of my wonderful kids and more praise for glorious weather.  Simple gratitude for simple fun and lovely gatherings.

To beginnings, resurrections, growings~in the ground, in the body, and in the heart.

But the two words that ended up on the chalk board under the words Happy Easter this year are just right and straight to the point–

rise up.

To your life, to your day.

Rise up, again and again, like the sun in the morning and the green from the brown.

The spring from darkest winter.

Your spirit can soar–should soar–while your feet touch this ground.

That rising is what matters, through it all.

The lessons of Easter are many, but the crux of it is this (and this applies to every single day).  Here is a day to think about what it means to be both deity and person.  Here is a day to practice the wild duplicity of being human and alive in this world.  Here is a day to try, once again, your hand at perfecting the art of simply being~a mother playing a magic bunny~as well as magnificently being~a never ending tide of upward motion.

magic making

In the meantime

Things on the technological front have been functioning less than optimally for the last few weeks.  Grandpa is setting up his office out here on the farm in their little studio apartment, and in the midst of trying to get internet out here for him, we currently don’t have it in our house or with our computer.  Whenever anything like this happens, I realize how many little things in our day to day we use the computer for.  For better or worse. 

It is about the only place I write, although I am trying to resurrect both the paper journal and letter writing in my life  (not very successfully I should add, because handwriting happens so much slower than both typing and thinking, and is often illegible afterwards).  It is for some odd reason where we store all of our phone numbers since we don’t have cell phones…a file we started a while ago and meant to print out but haven’t. It is our main means of communicating with everyone, we rarely make a phone call anyways.   From our business to our day to day planning of park trips, the back and forth of e-mails is how we do it.  It is where we go to listen to music, although our oldest son’s newfound love of the CD, and specifically used CD’s and our lovely used CD shop downtown, have rekindled my own past love with old record shops and buying music and holding it in my hand.  There is just so much out here that we can connect to on the web, more than we could ever hold in our hands.  Like I said, good or bad, it simply is.

So for us, I can’t say the two weeks of spotty availability to the web have been nostalgic or calming or refreshing, more of a hinderence in getting along normally.  To top it off, something happened to the camera the last time I let the big boy take pictures and so I couldn’t get any photos from there onto here.  Finally, we had to delete everything and get help from the farmer to figure it out.  Without a picture, what is a blog post?  It is now hard to let the words carry themselves, even though that used to be the way I liked it.  Just another thing that the computer has changed. I used to hate that photos were such a huge part of blogging because I didn’t take photos very well.  Now, I have really come to love the way they expand the story and have practiced enough to take a shot that is decent enough to open up our story.  Still, when there are no photos available, for whatever reason, are there no words to share?   

Of course there still are, but as you can see, no posts were made in that interem, so now I feel a strange dependence on the camera, again, for better or worse, I am not sure.

Anyways, once the camera situation was fixed, Olorin quickly came along and asked to take more pictures (he’s getting his own camera for his birthday, thank goodness).  And since it had been so long since I updated over here and I had lost all the pictures I had taken for the last few weeks, I asked him if I could use his picture of a frog tucked into the leaves of the fig tree, a sight spotted while we were picking the last of this year’s strawberries Tuesday night,  and came on over for a mini farm update. 

Aside from dealing with the inconvenience of not being able to say hello to all of you at the drop of a dime, we have been:

*planting all of our winter brassicas:  purple cape cauliflowers, rudolf and purple sprouting broccolis, collards, regular heading broccoli, more kale (always, more kale!), radicchios, and of course, cabbages!  I keep thinking, we are almost done planting for the year, and then we can relax a little;  but really, we will be planting through August, although most everything will be in by the end of this month.

* loving all the space we have to plant in for the fall thanks to both our neighbor’s tractor work on the farm and some hired tractor work out at our leased growing space–more than we have ever had to work with! Even though summer may be late or never this year, meaning all of those crops we grow only in the summer will arrive late, we will undoubtably have a really big late summer/early fall, with loads of food. 

*wondering if all of  that will make up for having less food in late spring early summer than we would have liked?  We can only hope!

*moving on from strawberries, as wonderful as they are, to gooseberries from our place, wild cherries galore but almost gone, and this week, blueberries from our favorite blueberry patch!

*harvesting the very first “summer” crop, green beans, dragon’s tongue!

*constantly telling different stories of what we might do differently next year, where we will take the business, what we need to focus on, invest in, etc, etc.  This is an amazing process that I am just now, five years in, able to recognize as it happens.  Through the year, as we observe the weather and its effect over the last few years, see harvests unfold, markets go through their season,discuss customer buying preferences, CSA feedback, and how our family life is working in the midst of it all, we begin imagining the next year in various ways, over and over again, until we usually finalize our new plans around for the coming season by the end of the year.  This morning I wondered if the farm would ever just be a certain way, settled as a business, but realized that no business is probably ever like that, at least if it wants to continue to be successful.

*trying to think very positively about the extremely mild summer we are experiencing.  For example, seeds started in July can be a real trick, keeping them as wet at they need to be in either a greenhouse that is really hot or outside where it is really hot.  No worries about that this year!  Also, most people seem to thrive when the temperatures are in the seventies, and as much as I feel like I thrive when it is hot and I am sweating while I weed instead of thinking about getting a sweater, I am thankful we are comfortable and hope that those folks who are dealing with extreme heat right now soon get some of that same comfort.

*getting ready for our oldest son’s tenth birthday and absolutely becoming charmed with the new phase of his development as much as I am equally overwhelmed with emotion at the end of his whole babyhood, because let me tell you, at ten, it is nearly gone! 

All of this and many, many other small little bits of life have been happening.  The baby is crawling!  We are frantically trying to rearrange the home to suit this new little guy on the move.  Parks, lakes, play dates, new friends.  Sweet and tart wild food, market day socializing, quiet summer night frog hunts.  Playing daddy elves while he isn’t looking and weeding places like the kohlrabi bed, those that don’t make his most important to do list, but need to be done just the same.  In the meantime, another year is passing in ways both wonderfully the same as we go through another season on the farm and always different as it unfolds and we grow, all of us, a bit more.  I hope that computer troubles aside, I can share more of the season with all of you before it is gone.

father’s day

There are many ways to be a good father, and I am not sure one man can be them all.

The farmer is not one to wear the newborns we’ve made in slings, get up in the middle of the night and do a diaper change, or go through a night time routine each night that can turn from 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the spunk left in these kids by the end of the day.

He has always been the worker bee.

He has, from day one of papahood, worked so hard to provide for this family.  When we met, why we married, it was all about raising a family together.  It was about a mother, home with the small ones, the most important thing to him.  It has always been my way to take care of the day in day out job of tending the little people while he spends most of his day hard at work.

Now that work is at home, he gets to weave fatherhood into his day more.  He will patiently slow down to enjoy working side by side the child who has come to visit him in the fields.  He will stop altogether sometimes to embark on a small project that someone comes to him with.  He will go out for his evening work with a baby on his back.

He is the wrestler, the one who takes them fishing, their own brilliant children’s muscisian who strums his guitar while singing the most hillarious songs made up just for them.  He does not remind them to brush their hair before coming to town nor notice if they have on a dirty shirt, and I think they appreciate the difference.

He does, however, gently set an example of right action.  He is the wise and just judge that hears many a children’s squabbles.  He is the helping hand a mama sometimes needs when their balance is momentarily lost.  He holds them to the important things:  kindness, fairness, respect.

He is such a good dad.

So here’s to a happy father’s day for the farmer!  He will be working (surprise, surprise!)…but at least not all day!  There will be dinner with his own wonderful papa (and mama) tonight, then to the lake for fishing.  Simple and fun, just right for him.

And a happy father’s day to all of the other wonderful papa’s out there too!  Such important people you all are.