I am here in a new year collecting the pieces of myself that get scattered throughout the landscape during the busiest seasons of our year. A little time away from the busy hustle and chaotic scramble of our work to appreciate the resounding noise of a successful year. A time to breathe, a time to plan, and to regenerate excitement for what's next.
I find myself feeling reflective as I regain control of my daily life to remember who I am and what I love most about Winter, which is finally here. Yes, it is here.
The ground is frozen. Nature is taking it's course to prepare for dormancy. It is the time for ALL life to take a rest in an effort to gain and also to reserve energy for what's coming next.
I love the flexibility that Winter brings to my schedule and to my daily activities. It is good for my body and for my brain. Farm chores certainly get trickier with frozen water and trekking through snow to feed animals. Plowing, too. We keep ourselves busy in Winter, but many of our activities are different.
We walk around our neighborhood, we hike old and new trails in forestland, and snowshoe around our hay fields. Perhaps we will even get to cross-country ski. The freedom of choice!
Exercise is key for renewing myself in Winter. Friends and customers often say, "But you get so much exercise farming." And I inform them that there are many forms of exercise and even though farming keeps us active, it's primary benefit is core strength.
In Winter, I get to move farther and faster with no task to complete except breathing. It's another form of exertion-- it's mental and physical exercise at a faster pace with a different intention. On the farm we are often taking care of things-- animals, plants, people. In the Winter, I am still doing that but less intensely, which means I am taking time to take care of me.
In Winter, we do more with our children. Rather than incorporating them into what we are doing (our busy season protocol for spending time together), we get to focus more on what they want to do. We play games in front of the fire. We watch movies. We visit museums and attend community events, and explore the science center's latest exhibits and interactive displays. We visit the library more frequently. We make big meals together. And of course, we bake cookies!
In Winter, we spend more time doing work in our community. He coaches girls basketball and I spend time serving on boards, working on projects and tasks for local organizations. I read books. I write. I reflect. I cook and bake more frequently. I listen to the news, read magazines on various farming topics, and drink tea. I organize spaces and regain control of the house. I shed old attachments and create new ones.
In Winter, I play with our animals more often. The goats especially. They love to play. And so do our kids.
In Winter, we RENEW ourselves. We REMEMBER what is ours. We REFLECT on the past, present, and future. We RECYCLE ourselves and become something new again.