Tuesday, April 15, 2014

homestead haiku, 1

bare shoulder fencing,
the long winter done you wrong
my bovine divine

first christening of the year
the grass, and shirt, too
we don't mind the rain

holy gold, for us
henny penny flew the coop
empty morning nest

do you think he knows
how special this one life is?
hot fence, careful child

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Spring, Sprang, Sprung

First you have brown,
all around you have brown
then there are seeds
and a wish for rain
and then it rains
and it is still brown,
but a hopeful, very possible sort of brown,
an is that a little green?
no, it's just brown sort of brown
then it is a week
and you worry 
about those little seeds
and if maybe it was the birds
or maybe it was the bears and all that stomping,
because bears can't read signs
that say things like
"please do not stomp here-
there are seeds
and they are trying"
and then it is one more week
and the brown,
still brown,
has a greenish hum
that you can only hear
if you put your ear to the ground
and close your eyes
and then it is one more week
and a sunny day
that sunny day that happens
right after that rainy day
and you walk outside
to check on all that brown
but the brown isn't around
and now you have green
all around
you have 

and then it's spring by Julie Fogliano, a favorite of mine from Gus's library. It is so very spot on with the hope and desperation that come with this time of year. It's also quite beautifully illustrated- a must for any children's library.

In the past week we've walked the creek that marks three sides of our property line nearly every single day. Only one evening proved to be too raw and windy. That sound you must be hearing is the exhale of at least one month's breath held tight thinking this winter would never end. But boys are getting splashy and I can smell the garden thawing and yesterday I cranked all the kitchen windows open for an hour or so. I even went so far as to talk fiddleheads with our neighbor.

And then it's spring..

Sunday, March 23, 2014

The Hard Season

I have no shortage of aspirations, no shortage of interests, no shortage of Big Ideas for our Little World in Maine. What I often lack is follow through. Sometimes I think buying this old farmhouse took every last big of gumption I had left. Sometimes I think Gus and Craig are the only reasons I haven't descended completely into the loving arms of hermitude.

 A few months ago I began reading tarot after becoming completely enamored with the imagery in the Wild Unknown Tarot. In just as little time, it has become my most powerful took for self-reflection. I like to think that most of the answers we seek already exist within ourselves and the cards just draw them out. So- to borrow words from Milla- I feel that my readings have been keeping me honest. I know myself well- the good and the not so- but I don't always do a spectacular job of looking that self in the eyes. But, when you pull the same card in 5 of 8 readings, it's hard to look away.

 This morning I found myself unexpectedly frazzled. I was making silly mistakes in the kitchen and finding the depth of my patience to be lacking. I was pulling myself in so many different directions- harvesting and brewing 5 batches of kombucha while also making muffins with a well-intentioned helper. Everyone was hungry, in and out of the house, and I couldn't help but cycle through my list of To Do's and Wish To Do's over and over. The frustration and feelings of being overwhelmed mounted until a small, albeit painful, injury to my eyes sent big tears down my cheeks, I put the muffins in the oven, paused my brewing, and left the immediate needs of the house to my much more centered half.

 Right now I'm in a period of adjustment and it's left me a bit tender. I gave up my morning cup of coffee a week or two ago and have really been working on my health, particularly my low energy level. I'm breaking bad habits and missing my favorite rituals and finding a new normal. Some days it's easy, other days I'm crying because my eye hurts.

After a good dose of grapefruit, my mind cleared and I began doing some readings. Sometimes I have specific questions but with so much to learn I do tend to simply ask that the deck teach or show me something. Again and again I pulled the three of pentacles, and again and again I thought I know! I know! The suit of pentacles is one of home and career, and the three of pentacles specifically deals with teamwork, dedication, and focus in that realm- all three of which I can falter on. It was a spot on card not only for my morning, but also for this season in life.

I'm often telling Craig that these are our hard days- the days when he comes home from a 9 1/2 hour work day and stays in the barn until after midnight; the days when we're tired, overwhelmed, and unsure; the days of a million moving parts; the days before we make it work and life becomes not easy but more manageable. These days are going to take everything we've got, and some days I wish I had some of my old gumption back, but really I know these are days that we'll get through- provided we work together and focus. And sometimes, silly as it may seem, I need a card to remind me of that.


Note: As time goes on I feel a pull towards writing most often when my thoughts are at their heaviest. Sharing here is such a wonderful unburdening of that weight! But I have often worried that the picture painted is incomplete- particularly as you wonderful people send us your generous words of encouragement and support. Life is truly good on the homestead, bad days included. We aren't downtrodden or within an inch of crying uncle. And although we have our moments of failure, we don't believe ourselves to be failures. I just happen to do a better job of working through my neuroses publicly than I do in sharing the wealth of joy and gratitude I have for this charmed life we have. Thanks for reading, you gals and guys. And happy damn spring already!