new year

THE MORNING AFTER | A DOWN HOME NEW YEAR

 
a messy table
mark and george

We set up an improv stage and improv-ed for hours. We made Top 10 Best & Worst lists for 2015. We articulated to one another how we feel the world perceives us. We consumed home brew and prosecco and more wine. We taught each other our best dance moves. We conducted blind taste tests with spices. We slow cooked pork shoulder and baked mini dark chocolate cakes with from-scratch whipped cream and goat milk caramel. We dunked homemade bread into honey, and in the morning we made two French presses. It was so full; so good.

We set the table in a way that would have looked great in photos. But it was 8 p.m. before supper was ready and a bottle of Sauvignon Blanc was already empty. So we forgot about photos and soaked up every moment of this best friend reunion. It was the sort of unkempt party that travels into the wee hours of the morning. The sort that begs to be reminisced over while fully extended on the couch, coffee in hand.

As a couple, we have worked to create a 400 square foot space that is overflowing with music, plants, and quality food. Always good food. When we eventually washed the copious dishes and vacuumed the rugs, we found ourselves remarking on how little money we have, yet we feel totally rich in experience and in food. That's the gorgeous reality of working in agriculture + food, in knowing farmers, in investing what little money you do have in growing (and brewing) your own.

Welcome, 2016. 

coffee mug
table setting
marky
andrew in the morning
music and plants

—S

AT THE CLOSE OF 2015 | FIELD NOTES

 
madagascar butterfly

" . . . I suppose maybe I am riddled by the idea of observation — of life, of planet, of space, of time, of essence, of grain. The grain from which our lives grow. The marrow of the spirit; The tenacity of the human heart. I seek to conserve it. Contradictory as I am, I also seek absolution. I envision, both blindly and methodically—obsessively, really—how to give away the things that seem un-purposeful, which, in sum, becomes everything at some point."
— Field Notes, February 4, 2015


Summaries are not my strong suit, nor are outlines. In fact, save for the mandatory APA style This & That required of me in high school composition class, I've never produced an outline for a paper or written piece. I am propelled by organic, freeform writing. Look to the smattering of Field Notes in my life for proof; they are brimming with schedules, recipes, "journal" entries and observations. I dare to purport—to summarize!—2015 as the year of Field Notes. The little gridline notebooks became something of a companion. 

Nestled between scribbles during amateur birding expeditions and reminders to pay my bills, there were passages that help me recall my very real, very emotional, very growing heart. In 2015, Mark and I got engaged, dove into hobbies + jobs with both feet, moved + traveled, stood before the most magnificent Baobab tree (pictured), felt the heaviness of loss + the lightness of faith. It was a batter up, sprinting the bases, home run year of life.

sam observing
turtle
baobab
marky

" . . .  To awake today with my one and eternal love—knowing that love was expanding in our very presence—was a loud feeling. And though my hangover was but dull, and a nagging headache sought to take my mind off their love, it failed. The mundane is mighty and the mightiest of moments remind us to stronghold the mundane ones. Those, too, exist on only one pendulum."
— Field Notes, July 26, 2015


As you prepare to ring in a new year, I hope you contemplate the uniqueness of this one. What did 2015 look like for you? Can you recount the novel textures, sounds, and visions? What was your favorite vegetable? Where was the magic? What did Nature teach you? How did you give of yourself to those around you?


—S