Friday, February 10, 2012

Winter and Spring-Dancing Together

Typically, when January stretches into February, our family and homestead are still a little on the sleepy side.  Winter limits our desire and capacity to keep pressing on with outside projects, and home educating and life together curtails how many indoor projects we allow to disrupt the flow of our days.

Like many places in the country, we're having a mild winter.  It keeps our spirits up since we're not under the thumb of grey, snow, and ice.  We have greater freedoms to be outdoors and it's quite a bit easier to be out n' about.

But, the gardener in me gets a little worked up.  It's far too early to be planting without benefit of a cold frame or green house, (and, my dear growing friends, please feel free to correct me- I can hardly wait to get soil under my fingernails!), but because of gentle days full of sun and 40+ degrees it hardly seems enough to be looking at seed catalogs and doing all the behind the scenes thinking, planning, and readying for the season ahead.

So, our thoughts have turned to grand plans.  Who knows which, if any of these, will come to fruition, but a little dreaming mixed in with planning is inspirational and motivational!  As we haven't even lived on the farm for two years yet, and there had not been a pattern of cultivating soil, (it was a horse there are parts of the pastures that are pretty rich; great for the grass the cows love so much), we're still very much involved in planning how to build good soil.  Most of our resources need to be directed at creating a hospitable environment for all the billions of micro organisms we're inviting.

But, there have been bits of cardboard, plastic straws clipped to different lengths, paper clips, tape, and note pads strewn about.  Each plays its part in counter top greenhouse models.

We've watched a number of documentaries about gardening, food sources, and entrepreneurship as well as adding inspirational and how-to books into our weekly library trip. My Pinterest boards grow daily with tips and gorgeous photos of gardens in full blown glory.

Several families have indicated their interest in partnering with our venture which is likely to include chickens.

And, the local excavating guys have been here to talk about grading our land, expanding our pond, and moving tons of dirt.

Here's the rub:  when hard winter is still upon us, I'm able to shove these visions of spring and the season ahead to the back burner where they must remain while I stay intent on home education.  We've always enjoyed the short days and indoor time for extra reading, catching up or working ahead on lessons, and the school days being more full since the outdoors doesn't call to us as urgently.  I'm finding that even though I see patches of green grass outdoors and they sing an early siren song, I must exercise the discipline and commitment to stay the course indoors.

There's no pity here.  I'm not feeling sorry for myself, nor should you, and I hope I'm not coming across as a whiner.  This is a personal reflective pep talk of sorts, and maybe you'll benefit from what I express.  How we're each in a season-perhaps it's learning, (like us), suffering,
(like my dad, ), waiting (like my firstborn son), and I can only begin to wonder and imagine what season you're in.  Perhaps it's recovery, or planning, or building.  And, I suppose, although I've not dug into this thought, that it's possible to be in more than one season at a time.

Isn't that a little like mild winter?  Winter and Spring dancing together, causing me at the same time to accomplish the task before me, and get ready for the work ahead?

So, here's the plan.  Today I'll settle in to our schooling and enjoy the bits of dreams on my counter.  I'll think of you and wonder what you're putting your shoulder to today.  I'll will myself to be fully present for the task without missing the anticipation of what's to come.

Seems to me what I'm trying to write about is hope.  Yes, that's it.

Like the hymn, "Great is Thy Faithfulness", Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow.

 May that be our portion and our blessing. I would recognize that as no small thing, and count that phrase among 2012's Little Things.

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