Monday, November 8, 2010

Long awaited (?) updates from the farm

Tallulah died. The first cold, cold, snappy cold night of the season found her huddled under the heat lamp in the henhouse. We knew she needed a little extra coddling... what with her age, her molting near-nekkedness and the chillier weather... so we had plugged in the red warming light and brought her a personal feeder and waterer.
Maybe it made her last night more comfortable.
Maybe it was just her time.
Just last autumn we were still raking leaves for the dog. He really loved to jump in the leaf piles with the kids. He especially loved to try to catch the leaves as they fell from the trees. It looked so very comical -- an 85-pound golden blur leaping and twisting to reach fluttery maple leaves.
We've had our share of loss this season.
The girls (and I) are campaigning already for a new dog, for a new batch of chicks, for a leaf blower (just kidding about that last one).
But if we look around, really looking, there's more to be thankful for than ever before.

It seems that simplify is, after all, an active verb. It takes a lot of thought and planning and frankly a lot of hard choices and a little loss to truly simplify one's life.

Running between chess and ballet class and band practice and horseback riding lessons, not to mention doctor appointments and, you know, delivering our fifth baby -- none of this was simple. None found us enacting that other cliche, either, of "living in the moment," which is a noble goal with a regrettably stupid catchphrase. Rather we stumbled from one event to the next. "Next" was the operative in my so-called stay-at-home, homeschooling, homesteading life.

I didn't know how to be still. I actually missed out on a lot of contemplative opportunities.
Did you know that kneading bread can be a chore to be rushed while the baby's asleep before homeschool co-op convenes? In those circumstances the yeast and flour and water combine to create a pressure-filled panic attack.
But with a little gumption and a clear decision a girl can say "no" to a few things, leaving room for the mundane to be even a bit beautiful.

"Be still and know that I am God." (Ps. 46:9) What I think this means to me, in this season, is that all my self-driven busyness is the opposite of stillness and, worse, puts me in the position of being god of my own circumstance. Which I gotta tell you I am so not qualified for.

In the midst of some gains and some losses and some difficult choices, in the direct aftermath of saying "no" several more times than is comfortable for a people-pleaser like myself, then did we feel some peace.

A little tranquility, at home in our little rural village.

And room for fun?

It's amazing how much more fun we have when we're dang I wish there was a better way to say this living in the moment.

When we're being still a lot more often.

Raking the leaves. Jumping in them. Reading some poetry and some fairy tales. Kneading some bread. Laughing more. Worrying less. Turning the light on for the chickens and remembering that God is in heaven.


Toni said...


"Be still and know that I am God" is the running theme in my life.

Carolyn said...

I agree. Just lovely. I have been missing many moments lately, and it shows. You are an inspiration.

Barb said...

Our circumstances couldn't be more different and I am learning this same lesson.

Mama Hen said...

What beautiful pictures!