Wednesday, May 09, 2012

I want to reach out

Today is drear, gray, and overcast, the poplars just beginning to be touched by green along Snow Road. The rain is making the loggers take the day off, which means blessed silence, except for the U2 I blare at my desk. Make hay while the sun shines, they say, another adage that has real meaning now that I live on a farm. I should have planted my beets and broccoli this weekend, when I had sun, even if it was Sunday, my Sabbath.

We have a single lettuce that over-wintered in the cold frame, from which I have already eaten several delicate leaves. It's a lettuce I thought was speckled romaine, last year, but which now looks closer to a spotted trout-back, according to Johnny Seed, and which becomes far too bitter to eat by June. So we did get vegetables in May, despite our spring vacation. It's the time of year when there's too much to do, in every area—dirt to be tilled and enriched and sown, new beds to put in, new crops to try—and I don't always feel like doing any of it.

It's days like this one that I'm happy farming is merely my avocation. I'm trying to be more focused, more driven, even more disciplined, dare I use that loathsome word. I loath that word, but it's one people keep chirping at me, as if it's the solution to life, the universe, and everything. Often I believe that's the opposite of being true, that discipline is dust in the mouth, and the true answer is joy, joy in all things.

Life is a daily practice of mindfulness, of coming to my desk, coming to the blank page, coming to the earth, coming to the mat. I know it, and as Bob Dylan says, still I'm learning it these days. How do I become strong? By a daily delight of being in a single place, of being present in time as time moves forward.

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