WINTER AS IT WAS | PHOTOS FROM AFIELD

 

Winter as it was. Moments that existed in the deep cracks of our wood planked floors, in the recesses of our mid-day minds feeding out hay, and in the slow but persistent realization of our dreams. I look at these images, all from our cell phones and none shared with anyone, and I feel these moments. The hens surveying their wintry manor before leaving the coop; a particularly pudgy block of cow cheese that was so beautiful I could not help but marvel; mending Mark's farm pants using sashiko stitching as an act of love and homemaking (inspired by this post); and on and on. Winter has been good to us. It has stretched me as a wife, challenged me as a farmer, deepened my faith, and even affirmed a few dreams.

I cannot help but remark on the way my mind and heart are turning dramatically towards homemaking. I could chalk it up to the magic of knitting (and realizing that I can Make Anything, from an heirloom hot water bottle cover to a knitted bedspread—a new life goal). Or maybe it's that rural life lends itself well to intentional acts on the land and in the home. With galavanting at an all time low, we have little choice but to sink well and good into our pursuits of land + home. It must have something to do with raising our own meat, curing the hides, and having them tanned so that our future baby (God-willing) has a cozy soft goatskin to sleep on. I don't know, and in fact I'm nearing on rambling now. The extra hours of sunlight are giving me hope — and this, from a child of winter. —s

Ah, March—when we, indeed, march headlong into this fickle new season. Winter is beginning to stubbornly relent. The sun rises on a 65-degree day, but is soon-to-be vanquished by a rapidly gathering cold front, and a wind chill factor of 30-below. No, winter is not over yet, but it certainly seems to be on its last legs. 

At present moment, there is still time to read a quick chapter, to patch a weathered pair of pants, or listen to both sides of a record between feedings & chores. After all, there are only a dozen kids so far: a gentle trickle before Kidding Season's proverbial levee breaks in a few days' time. In this way, winter still seems to be very much with us. Most of the time, we manage to finish work around 5 o'clock—when the rest of the world is also heading home—which gives us a chance to take a slow walk home, enjoying the scenery in the ever-stretching daylight. It's a fine time to notice the changes happening around you: the song of the early-arriving Red-winged Blackbird, the cushion of the thawing earth below your feet. But these accumulating new arrivals of spring are still brushing shoulders with the departures of winter, giving us time to bid farewell & thanks to the seasonal travelers who have kept us company during these slow months of farming: icicles, snow drifts, and chimney smoke. —m


—M&S