. . . . . . . . .
A Friday ritual inspired by soulemama.com. A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. If you’re inspired to do the same, leave a link to your ‘moment’ in the comments for all to find and see.
. . . . . . . . . .
A bright cold sunshine drips into our windows and with one step outside our lungs fill with the frigid air. Our neighbors sheep were sheared yesterday and those little ladies must be feeling brisk and naked this morning such a cut. For I know we are piling the layers on high, but piling them on with a knowledge that just below the surface under our feet is a thick wet mud waiting to rise up. Though it is tempting to pack up and head to the museum or library and hibernate today, I am reminding myself of this little secret mother nature holds for us, and remembering the fact that a 40 degree day brought me to my knees with gratitude just weeks ago.
So onward and outside we will go…
After a good discussion with my dearest girl, I have declared today a good day to go out into the newly running streams and vernal pools and swish for life. Stockpiled with magnifying glasses, a net, good boots and a bucket we are on the hunt for little critters that may be telling us the weather is just a symptom of A New England Spring. Mother Nature does what she does regardless of an inch of white stuff here or there. On the docket today are Fairy shrimp and macro-invertebrates. I will tell you I look forward to this expedition as much as my children for it will give us a real idea of the quality of water running through our land. It reminds me that there is so much to learn right in front of our eyes. From shearing to water samples there is a plethora of things that can bring us to some pretty hefty conclusions without ever slipping into a vehicle at all.
This classroom has no walls.
“There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes”, has been our motto since settling up here in Vermont. Rain or shine, snow or sleet we must go out! And out we go…
While surely I still have our snow suits hanging at the ready, it is the middle of April after all and the sight of snow covering the window over our bed when I woke this morning was a bit discouraging. Even though my heart wanted to sigh, the funny gobbling of a wild turkey turned the corners of my mouth up and then when a certain someone, thrilled with the prospect of a little visitor (pictured above) coming by again today announced, “Today is another special day!” upon waking and all was transformed.
Yesterdays mission of finding tracks in the mud will be all the easier in a dusting of fresh snow anyways.
Our hands are streaked black with mud and grease, cuts lining all creases. Our legs are scratched and our shoulders pink. Our muscles are sore to the touch. Its been a long week or so of learning and working around this hill, and I can tell you we are full to the brim with the satisfaction of success.
Oh their were minor set backs along the way, confusion and frustration mingling with despair even at times. But with persistence, and lots of googling and the help of some seriously wonderful and resourceful neighbors, we have had a whole slew of opportunities to whoop and holler with delight! And the king of it all, well it goes without saying- Even with (his final) final exams looming, a full time job and a family to love he trudged through some intensely dirty work with a smile on his face. I would like to think that smile came from the revolving door of delicious foods and cans of beer being delivered to him, (sometimes even fed to him when his hands were just that messy) but who am I to take all the credit. We truly are all very proud of him.
And best of all is seeing the imitation in our boys. When listening to them play I hear oh so clearly the fruits of our labor. Workers they are, and good ones at that. While we busied ourselves with tasks of homeownership and vehicle “set backs”, these two explored freely, surely getting to know every stump, spot of moss, and stream on our plot of land.
Our jobs differ dramatically, but they all of equal in importance. Without one, the others would never be as enjoyable.
I woke up before dawn yesterday to feel the quiet of the morning before the rain came. I put on some rain clothes, slung my camera around my neck, and pressed a steaming to go cup of coffee before heading out the door. My little dog fellow, whom since moving out here has become such a good and tired dog was dissapointed that she would’nt be joining me, but I promised her another day. She would be of no help this time; Today was a day for birding.
The sky was loud with robins and other thrushes, the tufted titmouse, jays and crows and chickadees too. I spotted a swallow or two and of course heard the knock knock drilling of woodpeckers catching a mornings meal. But it wasn’t 15 minutes into my woodland walk, even before the suns first rays came up over the hill, that the rain started to fall down and the forest settled back in. I continued on, why not I thought, the snow has melted enough to where you can pretty much navigate anywhere you please at this point. I followed a deer trail down to a little vernal pool and spent some time watching the spreading circles of an April shower grow.
There is a peace in the morning that I had forgotten about. Before my nights were filled with constant wake up calls I use to consistently enjoy this time of day. Whether it was for a run or to bake something sweet, the sun called me to get up each day. Some years later, with my little wakeful one tucked in safe on my husbands side and a bigger boy conked out like nothing else on mine, I get plenty of rest and have been taking advantage of my mornings from time to time once more, knowing full well that this feeling of being well rested is surely limited as we approach July and a new little baby will soon be in my arms.
It seems seizing the day is something I am coming to understand more and more of the late. When it is nice, go out. When it rains, feel the wetness. When it snows, marvel in its beauty. I can’t help but really notice how seasonably you live in the country. It is not an intentional lifestyle here, choosing stories to tell about the passing of the seasons, and crafting up projects to match, it is just what it is. There is no choice. When the sheep are to be sheared its spring, when its time for haying- you do, when the syrup is running- you gather, and when the snow is deep- you feed your wood stove and hibernate.
And today our ever changing land is presenting us with a beauty of a 70 degree day… oh my, oh my, how good it will feel…