Sunday, August 4, 2013

Recent Clarity

Right now the farm is in full production. Everything I do is happening at once. There are vegetables in the garden that need weeding and harvesting. There are pigs in the pen, who need twice daily food and water checks. There are sheep and lambs in the field. There are two goats, one that needs to be milked regularly. It's all happening around usual farm chores, writing deadlines, appointments and obligations and I do not dare complain. I am busy but optimistic about this autumn. That breakdown last week, the tears and the reality check were necessary for this recent clarity.

The past few days were eventful here. I handed in the second round of edits on my fifth book. If that is approved I get paid a partial advance, enough to cover August and September's mortgage and truck payments. That is a HUGE weight off my shoulders and will have me singing at Fiddle Camp this August. I was so worried this fall would just be about panic and fear but right now things are looking up. Thanks to encouragement from readers (I am behind on replies to your emails but so grateful for them) and your generosity of spirit, time, and resources this farm is still standing, and dare I say it, looking more productive than it has all year. Getting out of that funk, dealing with priorities cleared out my head. It shook out some confusion and helped me get my act together. In the fray of it I didn't realize how many things were falling apart around me. Hedges needed trimming, the lawn needed mowing, things needed to be groomed, cleaned up, just invigorated again. I got out the hedge trimmers, rake, and spent a few days just cleaning things up and clearing things out. I feel like a lot is on the mend that was careworn.

I got to spend Friday mostly doing this stuff. It was a 14-hour outside workday, starting at 4:30AM but by the time late afternoon rolled around I had this place in magazine shooting shape. At one point I just stopped to look at the day's efforts and before I wrote down the next day's to do list I just forced myself to walk back to the pig pen - a creation of friends and forced will - and just watch shoats scratch their butts on posts and roll in the hay. In meditation, or fascination (probably both), I stared at these guys. What I was looking at was hundreds of meals for friends and me. There's a lot of work between here and there, but if I stay true to the path so many great people I truly adore will be fed from a bit of land and work. Including everyone who helped make that pen happen. To think about all that while a little gilt rubs her nose in the dirt and then flops into a pile of hay in the shade was a nice way to end the work day.

And if that wasn't enough to validate my little turning point, I knew I had less then two hours to be at Skidmore College in Saratoga to help Patty and Steele get ready for the Floral Fete Parade. I was going to end this day riding in a horse cart down a main street in city celebrating 150 years of horses, culture, and history. No. No no no. I do not dare complain.

P.S. Here are some photos the local paper took! You may or may not see pictures of me and Steele Making Out in Congress Park....

Also, here is a totally wordless video of some pigs being pigs.