I had a chance to go to a market yesterday, my first since the end of October. It was nice to see some friendly faces from summer. I enjoyed being at a market and not being so tired that I could barely think clearly. My grandson, Alyx, decided to come with me, and we had a great day together. After we got back to the farm, and I took him home, the sun was starting to set, painting the sky a surreal hue of pinks, oranges, and purples. I thought to myself that life truly is full of beauty and all we need to find it is to occasionally look up from our busy lives and see that it is always there.
When I finally got back to the farm, a late autumn moon was hanging high in the early evening sky. It was slightly surreal because it was almost completely dark and the it was not even 5:30p yet. I couldn’t help but appreciate the passage of time. Just yesterday, it seemed, I was planting peas in the field out back on a late March afternoon. For months, I had been watching the daylight hours extend, getting more excited about the upcoming season with each sunset. It was also a Saturday, and while we had markets that day, my job was to stay home and get the fields started for spring. I remember having some mechanical issues that day, but eventually I got the equipment working. Once everything was working. I got the peas planted. Later that evening, I walked out to the barn, climbed into the loft and sat there thinking about my day. I sat out there until it was dark out. After sunset, I climbed down and wandered aimlessly around the farm. I remember feeling so much anticipation about the promise and possibility of the season ahead of me as I stood beneath the spring sky full of stars.
By June, the sun was beginning to light up the horizon by 4a when we would leave for Saturday markets in Chicago. When we got home and unpacked, we would make dinner and sit on the deck, watching the day end around 9p. It seemed that I had endless energy and that there was no problem that we couldn’t handle. The confidence of summer, like that of youth, is intoxicating. The plants grew, reaching towards the warmth of the summer sun, and so did I. Then when November arrived, I was weary from a long and challenging season. Somewhere in between, a season flourished and life happened.
No growth occurs without pain and discomfort. Some days, it was difficult to climb out of bed and place one foot in front of the other. Yet, that is precisely what must be done. On others, the rhythm of the music was so strong that my only option was to lose myself in dance while singing in the rain without abandon, even as the water poured relentlessly down my face. In those moments I realized that even the rain brings joy, for who would I be without the rain. It is the beautiful balance of rain and sunshine that enables growth. The plants know this. It took me a bit longer, but eventually, I learned it too.
I guess December is an appropriate time to slow down and reflect on the year and the lessons it has taught me. If I pay attention to the natural world, I see that there is a season for everything–a time to reap and a time to sow. Winter is a time for the cycle of renewal to begin. Renewal begins with reflection and reflection can only happen if we slow down. The entire natural world is telling us to slow down now. Our days are shorter because we are supposed to do less, especially work less and worry less. I plan to spend this time savoring the many relationships that I treasure and invest in the only thing that matters to me, those who share this life with me. To honor this goal, this will be the last Update of the calendar year. The Update From the Field will resume again in January. Until then, all of us at The Wright Way Farm wish you and your family a beautiful season of rest and may your holidays be filled with joy and love.
Happy Holidays from The Wright Way Farm!