Friday, August 17, 2018

Shakes Like Thunder

I'm writing to you during a thunderstorm, and it's a big one. I'm expecting the power to go out so I have already lit candles the Kindle is charging so it's ready to play me an audiobook to keep me company in the dark. Gibson is in my lap, always terrified of thunder. Friday is asleep across the room totally unfazed. Besides the distant rumbles and the sound of rain things are calm here. The chores were done well before the storm hit, including sharing the bag of corn cobs delivered by a friend on the way to the town dump earlier. Everyone loves corn on the cob! The goats, the chickens, and even the geese tumble and chomp on them with the same joy us humans do when they are so sweet and picked daily. It was an embarrassment of riches.

This morning started with a talk at a local Science Day Camp for kids. My friend Jeremy and I brought our birds to tell a room of 37 preteens all about hunting with hawks and birds of prey. The kids were wonderful and Aya was a great co-speaker (as was Jeremy)!

Once home I fell into my regular to do list of work.  I'm proud of the to-do list I keep and check off through the day - making categories for work and farm and fitness. Not every day is amazing productivity but every day sees that work is done and even if there's no sales and just bills - I can check off tasks and feel like accomplishments are happening.

Once the farm and client list was sated I decided to mow the lawn. I wanted the work out and I wanted to see the place looking a little more kept. You know how some people tidy up to clean their head before work? I'm like that with the farm these days - if I feel cluttered inside and out - I clean up. This time of year you can't mow enough. The region is so wet that mold grows overnight on leather in your home and rocks have moss thick enough to shear like a sheep. The air is heavy with water and every paw and boot is muddy.

You need to understand that mowing the lawn when you're behind on your mortgage is an act of hope. It's aggressively optimistic. It's saying that you know you'll be okay and you're proud of the place you struggle to maintain. I have no shame in sharing that struggle here, and when things (if they ever do) get easier I hope to share that fairy tale as well. But right now it's a good fight of praying while mowing and waking up to a coffee pot you prepared the night before; intentional acts of care. Hope so loud it shakes like thunder.

A slow day here in a lot of ways. No sales or business, which is a little scary, but also it sure looks like a million bucks. A freshly-shorn lawn, a cleaned up home, a bed with fresh sheets, a belly full of frittata from my own farm's eggs and sausage.... this is wealth even when I'm broke.

And speaking of a bit of wealth: that picture of Merlin?! He's wearing the saddle I found at the dump and cleaned and oiled. It rides great! I took him out on the trails for an hour last night and took this picture of him at sunset. We're still out there together. We're still going strong.