Let’s see. In my last post, I was devising a strategy on how to finish a long list of handmade gifts, which in reality, became a countdown to chaos. Ok. True confession: a lot of things fell by the wayside. No matter. The bigger lesson was that love of family was far more important. Lots of good food, family, friends – no time to blog about it – and at times it got a little crazy (toddlers have a way of upping the energy level a notch or two), and what can I say – it was a beautiful holiday.
Yes. And now it’s time to have a quiet cup of tea.
I confess, I am not sorry to see 2011 come to a close. It was the kind of year that hones your strengths and by contrast helps you to appreciate better times. I don’t know what we would have done without the love and support of family and friends, who helped us get through one difficulty after another. Truly, there is no greater gift.
Despite the challenges in our personal lives, we were fortunate to have a beautiful garden and an outstanding garlic crop, which just goes to show how nature will carry on without you (just in case you thought you were indispensible).
In my effort to “catch up,” I became more aware of how much solace the garden offered, simply by being. As I nurtured my plants, so they nurtured me. Most striking, though, was the realization of how much everything was in motion. In my little postage stamp on the planet, my garden was as changing as an immense cloudscape – and everything adapted accordingly. Such a dance! Stagnation is not an option – personal or otherwise!
I often refer to my garden as a “horticultural experiment,” but I took it to another level in 2011 while I transformed it from boring blocked beds to polyculture polygons – and the more I worked to creatively convert it into a food forest, the more I could see the interactions between different plants and animals – how they compete with, support, and coexist with one another – sometimes all at the same time – and how their relationships can make the difference between flourish and demise.
So we are.
It occurred to me that regardless of the outcome, no one complains.
I am sure there is a lesson there, too.
And so it is time to move forward in time.
A time to reflect, think about what worked and what didn’t, think about what we can change and what we can’t, and hopefully know the difference.
So – Are you making resolutions this year?
I have years where my resolutions are long and involved (carefully defined to be able to measure progress), others where I loosely describe a general theme to work toward (no fear of failure there), and others where I basically admit that control is but an illusion and who am I fooling?
It occurs to me that maybe it’s not about resolutions, but about choices.
Whatever you call them, this year, I am keeping them simple, in line with the resolve to simplify my life.
to see the world with childlike wonder
to do what I can.
After all, it is up to us to pay attention. The plants, insects, wildlife, changing weather, and evolving seasons all have much to tell us. Learn to slow down, linger awhile, smell the flowers, and appreciate the intricacy of the world around us. Sure, nature can carry on without any help just fine, but what an opportunity to be a part of something so much bigger than ourselves!
I love each season, and winter is no exception. It is a time to regroup. To settle down by a fire and craft, read, envision.
A time of healing.
Beneath this seasonal cloak of darkness, nature grows strong while it slumbers.
And isn’t it remarkable that although winter has just begun, we have already crossed that solstice turning point.
On this eve of what marks a new year, we are turning ever more toward the light and the coming rebirth of spring.
But for now – this moment – it is winter.
All is calm. All is quiet.
It is the First Night.
Sleep … deeply sleep.
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To all my friends and readers, I want to take this opportunity to tell you how grateful I am for all your support. Thank you for buying my garlic. I hope you enjoy. Thank you for being there for me. And the very best to all of you and to your connection to the good earth in 2012.