Sunday, October 2, 2011

a day of rest

It’s Sunday and the list of things to do is long and daunting but rest takes a front seat today. Not a choice but a stammering demand my body made as I tried to remember if I turned the water on for the sheep or if I merely just looked at the facet and walked away in a daze of exhaustion and body pain. I’m 30 feet from the faucet, I try to remember 60 seconds ago when I was standing in front of said faucet. Did I turn it on? I have to go back and check. It’s on. Rest today. Nap. Bed. Book. Eat. Drink water. The fields beckon me but I can’t fight my body's request for rest. I made sure the fields were watered well, animals had lots of hay and all on the farm could manage without me.

It’s an exciting time here on the farm, the same feeling as spring. Fall greens are filling the field with color, bright shades of greens, purples and reds. It’s a pleasure to walk down the rows of lettuce and each time I do my faith is renewed in the earth’s great abundance and its determination to sustain life. Life is renewed in the fall, just like in spring especially after a grueling hot dry summer. The sheep and goats are getting their bodies ready for breeding; it is a time for renewal. Just as it is in spring this farm is at its busiest. It’s the work I love and the work that gives me great results. I’m so satisfied at the end of the day with how things are turning out.

Sometimes the days are so long. Yesterday was, believe it or not a 20 hour workday. Up at 3:45 for farmers market and then a private dinner party at the farm in the evening. I don’t even remember going to bed. I just remember waking up probably an hour after turning in, hearing the barking of one of our dogs we accidental left outside. We slept in and the goats allowed us to come late to work this morning. Goats do have grace, I don t care what anyone says.

The famous to- do list is not so much long as it is conflicting. Everything needs to be completed at the same time. All fairly big jobs, all crucial to the overall success and operation of the farm. Beds planted, greenhouses taken down, moved and then reconstructed to be quickly planted for winters harvest. It’s a race against time. Literally, it’s a race against length of day light hours, soil temperature and first frost. It’s a race that must be won if the farm is to survive another season. So I choose. Each morning a look at the list and choose. Which one makes it to the top of the list today, which one waits, in a shroud of the farmers anxiety wrapped tightly around it, waiting to be freed, to be crossed off.

I feel confident that I’ll win the race but it takes its toll and I look toward winter as my time to rest in front of the wood burning stove in the yurt with a good book. I look forward to healing my aching back and legs. But that’s for later. I push through the days and the items on the list with great effort knowing that the work I do now will ensure the rest I get later. This, I know to be true, have tested it over and over. I ate my first fall salad last night seven different tender greens, from spicy red mustard to sweet green oak leaf. My mouth and spirit sang. Today I rest tomorrow I work.

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