"For everything there is a season
and a time for every activity under heaven:
a time to give birth and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted;
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build up;
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance;
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek and a time to lose,
a time to keep and a time to discard;
a time to tear apart and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak;
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
Many have started the new year with resolutions and goals. In the past, as I hang the new calendar on the wall, I also try to look ahead to what I can change. As I grow older and hopefully wiser, I am beginning to realize that a new calendar year is not really the new start that is always advertised. Here it is cold and dark and while the idea of seed catalogs can cheer up a few moments, those are fleeting. This time of year is, perhaps the worst time for me to try something new. Instead it is a time to snuggle in, a time for soups, a time for reading, dreaming and serious contemplation.
I have gotten away from writing, although I visit my own blog often for some of my favorite recipes. Writing was not part of the last few seasons. I am hoping it will be part of the upcoming seasons but only God knows what it truly part of the wild journey I am on. It is strange what brings us back, full circle but not the same.
Initially, this blog was a place for our organic travels but slowly that lifestyle, while essential to our lives, no longer rules every waking moment. Organic is how we roll. The homestead is more consuming, no longer just a small garden, it is a lifestyle. The cow must get milked, cheese must be made, the eggs must be collected, something always must be processed. It is no longer me who is running this homestead; it is a family homestead with our oldest currently feeding and tending the cows, our second cooking and eating and spoiling the rest of us with his creations, our third and fourth caring for the chickens. They all have their pet chickens, their farm chores, their own delights, often even their own gardens. Sometimes they are working alongside us and each other, sometimes they are toiling on their own, working hard on a personal project or doing something for the family. But oh! these cold dark days. Morale runs low and tempers get short, water bins and hoses freeze, and eggs are in short supply. And yet, each trial leaves us learning and growing.
There have been many changes which I hope to share over the coming days, weeks and months. We have gone from a small family on a homestead with a few chickens to a bigger family with livestock. We are learning about natural medicine to compliment my formal training. I am experimenting in cheese, gardening, herbs, and animal husbandry. And yet, some things stay the same: more books that I can ever read, dishes to wash, laundry to do, lessons to learn and a meal to be made.
If someone had told me years ago, this is where I would be, I might have laughed. And now, as we start this new year, I pray that it will be a year of laughter.
Happy New Year.