Monday, March 9, 2020

And that your coffee is hot.

Good morning from the warmest day of spring Yet! Despite the rough start to this month I have to confess, this day has my mood and spirits so high I am feeling butterflies in my stomach; the kind of joy that and anticipation that fueled the earliest days of this farm! I woke up in bed beside my two beautiful collies and walked outside to morning chores in a light sweatshirt. The geese and chickens are laying eggs and the first shoots of green life are poking from the earth. Hoo, what a sight! I sang while carrying buckets of water and bags of feed and watched the pigs and horses eat their breakfasts with wagging tails. Everyone seems happier today. I have good reason to be.

This farm is always on the edge. You know that. But last month I was able to pull it off at the last minute and entirely because of luck, a surge in last minute sales, kindness, comments, support and letters. And I mean actual letters in my mailbox sending encouragement and love. And I needed it because a few days after the bank cashed that Hail Mary mortgage check the truck's brakes died and so I ended up writing a check for over $500 to my mechanic to have Taylor back in working order. I smiled writing that check though. As bad as the news was, I had a little over $500 in my account. I had the money to repair her and have wheels again on the farm at the earliest point in the month after all those bills go out. That's a small miracle! And while my bank account is low again, it will be built up over the month with sales and freelance, soap making and art promotion, maybe even the rare speaking event or big article for a magazine. But I will get there. Or at least on this sunny morning I feel like I will.

Which is the biggest gift this farm has given me. As hard as it has been, to know that I have consistently found a way to stay here has been a well of strength and confidence I cannot help but drink from when scared. That is not a boast of ego or solo achievement. IT's the opposite. This farm only exists and continues to because people want to see that happen. They support the farm in a million different ways, from checking my books out of the library or clicking on old youtube tutorials or buying soap or simply reading this. And while that also has it's ups and downs, mostly the internet has been kind and supportive and consistently reading about this scrappy freehold tucked into a mountain. To which I am grateful. Very, very, much so.

So today, after chores I took some time to enjoy this small life with music and mindful sipping of blueberry coffee (which reminds me of Sandpoint, Idaho so so much!) and with that safe and lovely knowledge that every animal in my care is fed and well, I poured a steaming mug of that magical brew into a diner mug, tuned my banjo, and played a small concert of old time tunes to my chicks in the living room. Seedlings of snap peas and lettuce grew in the morning sunlight beside us. The stove behind me, unlit. To know I didn't need a morning fire made the music all the brighter and carrying more promise of the day ahead. I have hopes to take Friday on a local hike a few minutes away from the farm. I'll go after I've done some customer work and I look forward to moving hiking boots on green moss surrounded by melting snow with the same joy I had signing that check. Because what I find the most true joy in isn't the easy things. It's not the banjo music and relaxing moments at all. My joy comes from doing something hard a step at a time and being able to still go home. A hike up a steep mountain path. The ability to cover the cost of a truck repair. Even if both take nearly all I have to offer in energy or money, they can be done. And that is what I feel today. Capable of going forward. Eager to do the work. Hopeful my songs will continue to change for brighter mornings.

And all with a hot mug of coffee?! Is this HEAVEN?

Yes.

After that bit of church, I started my morning with my daily list. I will start to earn the money that replaces the truck costs, that starts saving for the next mortgage payment, that buys lambs and pasture seeding and chicken feed. And on that list are the small daily goals—from income to work to self care— and every time I check an item off I feel a little safer in this rare sunlight.

So am I okay? Yes. Meaning I don't know how or where or when I'll make this month's bills but that is every month for the past 8 years and I am still here. And all I can do today is keep at my list of work, hope for more sales and readers, and take time to sit quietly and stretch my cold winter body and move in the sunlight that is finally returning to my mountain.

Things are feeling better. I hope with all my heart I retain the energy and love and beginner's mind this farm has given me. I hope your spring is warm with banjo strumming and seedlings and small animals that remind us how new every day can feel.

And that your coffee is hot.