Hoop House Guardian, copper wire sculpture, gift of the artist

Hoop House Guardian, copper wire sculpture, gift of the artist

"I've been burning the candle at both ends, and I have found the middle," I told my husband, Jared, recently. It often goes that way.

Creatively, emotionally, spiritually. And, unfortunately, there's no way to conveniently add "work"  to that list of words that end in 'ly'. Work, yes, work is ramping up for those of us who work with the seasons. I'm one of them.

"Winter," non-farming folks will muse, "must be a slow time for you." I usually find something to fill it up with - record-keeping, repairs, infrastructure, repairs, taxes, repairs, non-business-related house projects, repairs, planning, repairs, marketing, repairs, procrastination, and if all else gets wrapped up neatly, I like to spend part of winter in deep introspection.

Even if the list of tasks remains long, I spend solid parts of winter thinking. I feel it come on each autumn. As the leaves fall, my to do list shifts. No more earthy, grounding plant work. It is a rough transition each year, despite my intentions and smudge sticks. Autumn 2018 is a bit away, perhaps things will be different this fall. But, that can happen only if the daffodils would bloom this year.

Hello? Daffodils? Can you cue up the rest? We are ready. We have a pair of Eastern phoebes ready to nest.

But, back to the candle, my candle. It is burnt, burnt pretty good.

What do I find there in the cinders?

I have a scratchy throat, fatigue, and a runny nose just waiting for a gap in my haphazard dosing on chaga, reishi, and herbal teas.

What else?

I 'have' a husband who I love with whom I have shared many kinds of love. About eighteen years ago, we lay side by side in bed, and I whispered to him, "You are balm for my soul". That remains true today. I trust him, truly. By that I mean that there have been and will be unskillful times, and I trust that no matter what, the work and all moments are worthwhile and part of the story.

I 'have' a son who reminds me daily that I can be myself, and I can be better. When I am both or either or neither, I am ok. He's ok. It's ok. He regularly causes me to pause with wonder when he offers insight about himself and life.

I 'have' an extended family that is generous and kind. Hi, family!

I 'have' friends who are really dear to me. Hi, friends!

I 'have' creative, emotional, and spiritual reserves for the spring (coming in the next three days, so says NOAA) work load...especially if I don't also have to grow vegetable seedlings for our neglected garden. So when I see my farmer friends' photographs of little seedlings in warm greenhouses, I think, "I am definitely gonna make it through spring this year."

Wild columbine ( Aquilegia canadensis ) in the hoop house

Wild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in the hoop house