Everlasting vs. Evergreen
It was good to get away. While most folks plan their getaways during the summer months, I barely leave the farm at all, with the exception of daily deliveries (which I mostly still do myself because this is a young business, and because the delivery van has A/C). Every year, since we took up as caretakers of this 23 some acres of earth, we have hosted family and friends for Thanksgiving at the big table in the farmhouse that occupied this place for an entire century before the White album was released. This year we spent Thanksgiving in Boulder, Colorado.
I lived in Boulder in my mid-20s. I had two young daughters, and was pursuing a career in midwifery. For those of you just getting to know me, Jules (Benji and my 3yo) has two older sisters, Emma (23) "Sissy," and Sadie (20) "Snip." Jules is an uncle to Zara, Sissy's almost 2yo, who calls him "Juice" and calls me "Gigi." Life sure is funny.
For the most part, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else during the summer. I love it here, and the land has been so generous with us. We could have done that. Ben works at the college so we could be almost anywhere during the summer months. We could live in town and rent our place to the track-goers for a small fortune.... It's funny we don't because what we do is a tremendous amount of work!
Traditions become a big part of any life on a farm. At least, that is how I've come to think about the different kinds of work associated with changing seasons. Traditions, with all the little rituals around them, another reason to celebrate! Is that just something you do? When you haven't pulled a paycheck in a while? What is the nature of work? What we did in Colorado was, decidedly, not work, and that was nice. I FINALLY found a knife I like, ate tacos and ramen, and turkey dinner, of course. Colorado is the only state I've ever known in which direction I was headed. Sometimes ya just gotta get away to get any perspective. I know, I don’t have to tell you, but I do find myself learning this over and over again. Hence the blog.
Back in NY, the ground finally freezes, the rain (unrelenting this year) turns to snow. And then back to rain. Supposed to be 40 on Sunday. I realize, at last inventory, that I have four everlasting wreaths left in the Wreath Shop before I switch to the evergreen variety. I wonder about their longevity. 40 degrees is warm for them. It seemed funny, for a moment, to note that the “evergreens” will last only during the cold season, while the “everlasting” will remain interesting for years, kept inside and out of sunlight. Dust, eventually, will do it in. As I add wreath making to the cycle, I wonder how many times I’ll repeat these motions, hone them, master?