Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Waystones & Weather

Around here things are getting colder, but my heart is set on spring. If you have been reading this blog a while that should raised some eyebrows. April is my least favorite month of the year, a fact I am very vocal about. The whole muddy, wet, month creeps me out. Since I was 17 years old and first discovered another way of looking at the world, October has always been the season of life and celebration. It's the big fireworks and beauty before the cold, dark, winter. There is a whole harvest put aside, the larder is full, the goats and sheep are breeding, and the freezer has enough pork, chicken, rabbit, and game to feed a banquet hall. All the local farms can't give away the excess tomatoes and kale, prices are so cheap it is astounding. Did I ever tell you that this past year I didn't go to a grocery store once from June until November? That's not saying I didn't buy food or a diet coke at the gas station, here in Jackson but real food was cheaper and closer to home. At Stannard Farm a beautiful free-range chicken was around seven or nine dollars a BIRD! And there was bags of potatoes, garlic, and onions. I could take the horse cart in October for a ride to that farm stand and buy everything I needed for the week or an outing. The days were golden, the light was perfect, and I was in a world of chilly nights and glowing bonfires. There was Dumb Supper on Samhain with my closest friends fiddle tunes, and the dream of catching a hawk from the sky. October is a celebration.

April is barren. I always felt that way, even before the Agricultural Wheel of the Year was my waystone. I know it is the time of warming weather, new life, and started gardens but it is so bleak to me compared to fall. It was the time I read scary stories with flashlights in my closet and watched hungry birds pick at rain-soaked roadkill on the way to school. I know it is a necessary and important time, but I only understand that in the most logical way - not emotionally. Spring is a hungry time for everyone, be it hungry for the warmth of summer or hungry because you ran out of winter storage. It wasn't that long ago that a light larder meant dead children and grandparents. Grocery stores have only been around since the 1940s and they won't be around forever….

April was something to achieve once, proof you made it through the cold, long, bite. But it was just as much as struggle - if not more so than the time around the Solstice when days were shortest. Because in December there was a lot of firewood and food. Right not on Facebook I read a thread about many of us running out of firewood already, not expecting such a cold winter. I'm doing okay wood wise but its not very dry or very abundant.

So for the first time in my life I am looking forward to April. Looking forward to a spring with a garden planned, baby goats, some lambs and a lack of frozen pipes and 45-degree mornings in the farmhouse. And by April I hope to have met some serious personal goals which I fear sharing here because I really believe in what Hemingway said, "You lose it if you talk about it."

I can say that things here are churning creatively, if notjhing else. Books are being planned and proposed, Birchthorn stays on track with updates every Wednesday, and old bills are being paid and debts caught up. I am not yet planning spring but will be soon. I have high hopes, and that has always proven to be my rocket fuel.

I can't wait to start riding every day again. You just can't know.


Blogger The Village Queen said...

growing up in MN, spring was always the season of hair. As in wooly bear ponies and horses shedding, I loved the days when they let the coat go and under all the fur was this sleek shiny muscle. 'there you are'! Like unwrapping a package. they couldn't wait for spring grass either. But don't let the bad weather keep you off of Merlin, that's what snowmobile suits are for! We would trail ride all winter, even with big boots on, our trick was to take off the stirrups and put our feet in the loop of the leathers. Probably not the safest thing, but we had pretty bomb proof mutt horses that didn't tend to spook and were happy to be out of the pasture too. Sure we were cold, but we were young and didn't care. those were the days... hang in there, spring will be over soon too!

February 11, 2014 at 10:55 AM  
Blogger sarah e blog said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

February 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger sarah e blog said...

i truly love the maddness of spring, the strain, the fight against weather to plant things..and the knowing that i can start chopping wood with ease but not quite need it for survival...not yet anyway .

February 11, 2014 at 10:58 AM  
Blogger sarah e blog said...

i love the spring, the fight against weather to grow things, the urge to cut wood and not need it for survival..not yet anyway..and the promise that i wont lose my limbs while outside tending to the farm..even in all its messy glory..spring is life and with out it..just like people there would be no fall time celebration or for that matter the firefly and cider buzz we all look forward to..

February 11, 2014 at 11:00 AM  
Blogger Alison said...

Yeah, February was always my least favorite month up north. You knew you were only halfway through winter, and it seemed like the gray skies and accumulating snow would never end. It must be a tough one this year, if even you are longing for April!

February 11, 2014 at 1:32 PM  
Blogger By Candlelight Farm said...

The days are brighter, even if cold! The winter has been a deep one, but I appreciate the time to plan, anticipate, and do those indoor nesting things!

February 12, 2014 at 11:11 AM  

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