Thursday, August 20, 2020

The First Tired Light

I know when to expect the first hints of fall. It isn't when I start stacking firewood or hay bales. It has nothing to do with Halloween candy at the pharmacy or Pumpkin Spice at Starbucks. It'sa much older, truer, method than agriculture or candy. It's when you first notice that the light changes. That what used to be powerful, harsh, and demanding July sunlight has lost its edge. It's older now, the summer I mean, and it feels tired. The pace of the light's run is slower, if that makes sense? Like it's the same strong beast, but carrying a full pack uphill. And on mornings like this, these weird in-between moments, it is both beautiful and terrifying. Last night, really just a few hours ago, I was watching piglets in the dark for my night rounds on the farm. I could see my own warm breath filling my headlamp beam with smoke. I was chilly, wrapped in a flannel shirt. I just checked the weather. A small heatwave is coming back. Temps may even get back to the 90s?! But it's an old man's punch now. It's tired. Fall is on the way.

I am happy to report some good news for this farm. I was able to pay the July mortgage and right now, as I type, the month I am earning towards paying for is the month I am living in right now! Do you know what a relief that is?! To not be trying to catch up and pay for the past while worried about making the future? It is a gift beyond measure. And also, there's a cord and a half of firewood stacked under cover and nearly 50 bales of hay in the barn! I know I am not even close to what I need but compared to even a few weeks ago this is progress. My goal is 100 bales stores, not used for current feeding, by October 1. Along with three cords of firewood stacked and covered. I am halfway there and making it while earning this month's house payment. As horrible as the news is, as scary as the pandemic is; I need to realize among all the anxiety that things are better than they have been in many August's before this. And I made it through those years, too.

So this is good! There are 11 days left in this month to still make this month's payment, to save towards hay and butcher bills. The garden, orchards, larder, and freezer are packed with amazing good food I can prepare here in this kitchen. I don't need to commute to a job off farm today. I don't need to go to some gym. I can run up and down these hills, eat the food I raised, shower with the soap I made, and find peace with the choices that created this life. And I will do in this tired light. I will do so with hope of a farm on the mend, slow as sauce stuck in the jar but irrefutable in it's promise.