Sunday, February 12, 2017

We've had a busy week full of physical, outdoor labor. The week ended with us unloading bales of straw and hay on Saturday evening.

I knelt on top of the stack of bales in the back of the F-350 truck, getting a rare overview of the garden. The raised beds ran straight and tidy, most of them freshly mulched, and ready for spring planting. In one glance I saw the sharply pruned stand of elderberries and the freshly trimmed and weeded figs. A little ramshackle fence, still under construction, creates a pretend barrier along the back edge of the garden, where I've started to clean up last year's weediness.The sun shone golden through a veil of thin clouds, behind the leaf-bare woods near our house. Towels laundered in the morning still waved on the clothesline. Even the compost area looked attractive from this angle.

The day had been unusually warm for February, above 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Almost hot in the middle of the month when 45 degrees usually feels warm. A light breeze brought in cooler air as gray light settled over it all.

An unmistakeable feeling settled into me. Peace. This is why I live here, why I live this life... for these rare moments of peace as the sun yawns and spreads golden light that fades to gray. The peacefulness that follows a day of physical labor spent with the man I love.

I wish I could have taken a photo of that moment to share, but that would have shown nothing of what I felt. A picture can be worth a thousand words, but in moments like these a picture is worthless. All you would be able to see are the things, the surroundings. Invisible are the silence, the sense of home built by a decade of working and loving the land, the barely chill touch of the breeze after a hot day, the memories of cabbages and sweet potatoes and rabbits all raised on this place, the frustrations and triumphs... all of these things and more congealed into a moment of tranquility nestled within a very unpeaceful world.

I would love to bring that peace and tranquility to all of you, but we must find our own peace. Living the country life is not required for one to find this tranquility. Such peacefulness does not come from somewhere outside of us, but from within.
If you find yourself in a state of turmoil because of events occurring around you, whether personal or public, look deep into the twilight on some warm winter evening, or deep into an icy landscape, or deep into anything that surrounds you, even a cityscape, until you find the reflection of your own, true self. Then know peace. Be peace.

Now back to my regularly scheduled frantic pace...
I couldn't bring you a photo of inner peace, so instead I headed this post with something that excites me... baby cabbages newly emerged from their seed enclosures. The earth is stirring, ready to awaken, blades of crocus sprout where soon I will find yellow and purple blossoms. Winter is not gone, but Spring is tugging on its pants, getting ready.
I also hope to later bring you more info about growing those elderberry shrubs I mentioned earlier. I can't promise to tell you anything about growing figs. Even after years of watching the fig trees grow, I still don't know much about cultivating them. I haven't ever gotten a ripe and tasty fig from them. But elderberries, I can tell you things about elderberries.

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