Saturday, June 21, 2014


My folks are in town, visiting me for the first time in years up here in Washington County. We had a wonderful day together complete with horse-drawn cart rides, good meals, hawks, hounds, and book stores. It was wonderful seeing them and introducing them to my good friends and extended community up here. Lucas, the Turkey, was especially happy to see my mom's red blouse. He didn't stop puffing out and displaying his feathers the entire time my parents walked around the farmyard. I consider it a high compliment. Lucas doesn't show off his stuff for just anyone.

The day of sight seeing and catching yp ended back over at Livingston Brook Farm, watching the fireflies come out around 10pm as the sun finally started to set for good.I had to keep checking the time because even though I know the days are so long come late June, I need proof. Winter was dark, cold, and sunlight was rare. This weather today felt too good to believe.

When it was time to leave, I hugged everyone goodnight (my parents are renting a place near Patty's place) and drove back to the farmhouse. My road home was along all western-facing roads and I could watch the sun finally set for this last best night of Summer. I know to many people this is the "first day" of summer, but not to those of us keeping the old Calander. This is the first whispered promise of fall. Every night will slowly get a little longer from here on out. Every candle lit or bonfire blazing will be one of hope instead of celebration. Before tonight winter was over and the sun celebrated in hours of warmed skin and green earth, baby animals and fireflied nights. But come the next few weeks the summer will change from the lust of July and August into the slow swagger of early Autumn.

It's the longest day of the year. Bless it.

I feel like I came a long way. Winter was so hard. It was hard mentally, physically, and financially (welcome to every farm story). I remember being scared of Christmas's approach because I still had to figure out how to pay Octobers mortgage. Somehow the farm found a way. With the help of a good wood stove, saving, planning and a few thousand miracles I got those house payments in. I am still behind, and I am still worried, but at least I know now that worries from the winter solstice were mended and I got through it. Now, months later having made it from the darkest nights to the longest days I feel comforted. The sun did a full dance, and the worry is still there, but at least I know my stress is fresh. That sounds silly but it matters. I may be behind but October is in the black. I figured it out then and I'll figure it out now.

I am grateful for the challenge and stress Cold Antler gives me. It offers meaning. People live their whole lives wishing for something more real than fear or pain. I have that here in measured daylight and farm chores. Together they make up this holy bit of land carved into a mountain. I'm so grateful for the horny turkeys, the long setting sun, and the challenge of keeping my home and a creative life. I may be constantly scared but at least I am on a mission. At least I feel alive.

I welcome you June. Thank you for this light.


Blogger Kelly said...

Love your stories. You write with such passion, it's beautiful :)
For me this day is a celebration of Summer. Me and my girls always go skinny dipping on this mid summer night. It's a strange tradition but we laugh our butts off. I think last year the moon was full. It was awesome! It's crazy how time flies. Fall will be here soon. Time to plant the pumpkins:)

June 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM  
Blogger Robin Follette said...

I completely, deeply understand. I'm still a little shell shocked from winter. I'm sad that the days are shorter already. The firewood is supposed to be delivered this week, tree length to be cut, split and stacked. It's my answer to not having a gym and needing to lose a bit more weight. It's also peace of mind. I've ordered three extra cords.

June 22, 2014 at 6:29 AM  
Blogger Christine said...

Hey Jenna I was just wondering if you know if Kathy Harrison is planning on resuming her blog @ Preserving Abundance again at some point?

June 22, 2014 at 7:52 AM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I'm so glad you are having a nice visit with your parents.

June 22, 2014 at 6:09 PM  

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